- Museum number
Study for the watercolour 'Amoris Sacramentum'; whole-length figure standing to front, left hand holding a spear with branches growing from it, right hand, covered by garment and holding object decorated with angelic creatures. 1868
Graphite, with watercolour
- Production date
Height: 335 millimetres
Width: 201 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The finished watercolour 'Amoris Sacramentum' was first exhibited in the Fifth General Exhibition of Watercolour Drawings at the Dudley Gallery in London in 1869 (no.111) but is now lost. It is known from a photograph after the work by Frederick Hollyer, an example of which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. According to a note in the register added by Campbell Dodgson, the finished watercolour belonged to Oscar Wilde. Since Dodgson knew Wilde, this is firm evidence.
The drawing corresponds closely with a painting said to have belonged to Oscar Wilde, now lost but known from the plate in Percy Bate's 'English Pre-Raphaelite Painters' (1899), opp. p. 66, on which are superimposed in white Solomon's monogram and the date 1868, no doubt illegible in the photograph. In the drawing the figure holds in his left hand a staff from which spring budding branches; in the painting this has become a 'thyrsus' - the pine-cone-tipped rod which was one of the attributes of Bacchus. The object held in the right hand seems to be a profane variation of a monstrance, the vessel used by a priest to display the Host.
The hieratic impassivity of the figure and the highly-wrought jewelled regalia of mysterious or ambiguous significance are paralleled in the paintings which the French 'Symbolist' Gustave Moreau was exhibiting from about 1865 onwards. Moreau's work, and possibly even Moreau himself, must have been known to Solomon. 1954,0508.19 is inscribed "61 Paris", but no information about his contacts in France seems to have survived. The parallel between Moreau and Burne Jones was discussed by Robin Ironside ('Horizon', June 1940; reprinted 'Apollo', March 1975).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1985/6 Nov-Jan, Geffrye Museum, 'Solomon Family of Painters'
1986 Jan-Mar, Birmingham AG, 'Solomon Family of Painters', no. 60
1994-5 Sept-Jan, BM, 'Pre-Raphaelite Drawings', no.116
2005/6, Oct-Jan, Birmingham, Museum and Art Gallery, 'Love Revealed: Simeon Solomon and the Pre-Raphaelites', no.115
2006 Mar-Jun, Munich, Museum Villa Stuck, 'Love Revealed: Simeon Solomon and the Pre-Raphaelites', no.
2006 Jul-Sep, London, Ben Uri Gallery, 'Love Revealed; Simeon Solomon and the Pre-Raphaelites', no.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number