- Museum number
Until the day break, and the shadows flee away: two figures, both busts, figure at left turned and looking to front, with star-like flowers in hair, figure at right, turned to left slightly, with aura around head. 1869
Graphite and black chalk, with bodycolour and red chalk
- Production date
Height: 129 millimetres
Width: 154 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This drawing of two male heads is similar, but not identical to, the one reproduced as the frontispiece in 'A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep', a prose poem by Solomon published in 1871, which he regarded as the fullest exposition of his artistic ideals. In it he describes his idea of love:
'Ever and again his feet, where from sprang glowing rings, touched the earth and caused it to bring forth flowers; his head was bound with a fillet of violet, and violet blossoms breathed upon by Love, he carried a mystic veil of saffron colour, which descended from his head upon his shoulders even to the ground, and his shining body was half girt with fawn skin.'
Solomon published his poem himself, but the reviews were mixed. He would have included more drawings in the publication if he had been able, and in later editions by others it was illustrated more lavishly. (see Solomon exhibition, Geffrye Museum, 1985/6).
The title is taken from Song of Solomon 2:17, but the drawing does not refer to the biblical text in any obvious way. As with many of Solomon's works, the image evokes a mood rather than depicting a narrative subject. The juxtaposition of two heads was a compositional arrangement he often used in his Symbolist drawings. See R. Hoozee, ed., 'British Vision: Observation and Imagination in British Art, 1750-1950', exh. cat., Gent, Museum Voor Schone Kunsten, 2007-2008, cat. 269
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1985-1986 Nov-Jan, Geffrye Museum, 'Solomon Family of Painters'
1986 Jan-Mar, Birmingham AG, 'Solomon Family of Painters', no. 61
2005-2006 Oct-Jan, Birmingham, Museum and Art Gallery, 'Love Revealed: Simeon Solomon and the Pre-Raphaelites', no.113
2006 Mar-Jun, Munich, Museum Villa Stuck, 'Love Revealed: Simeon Solomon and the Pre-Raphaelites'
2007-2008 Oct-Jan, Gent, Museum Voor Schone Kunsten, 'British Vision:...', no. 269
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number