Simeon Solomon (1840-1905)
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Simeon Solomon (1840-1905)

Matutina

Details
Simeon Solomon (1840-1905)
Matutina
signed with initials and dated 'SS/1896' (lower right) and inscribed 'MATUTINA' (lower center)
white bodycolour on buff paper, unframed
21 x 7½ in. (53.3 x 19 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Belgravia, 30 July 1974, lot 331.
with Julian Hartnoll, London, circa 1980, where purchased by the present owner.
Special notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Giles Forster
Giles Forster

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Lot Essay

This handsome drawing is an unusually free and expressive example of Solomon's later and more Symbolist style. The title suggests that his Latin was shaky since 'matutina' is an adjective, meaning 'of the morning'. It would normally be used with a noun, as in 'Stella Matutina', the morning star, which is probably the subject Solomon had in mind.

Burne-Jones treated this theme as one of a series of nine 'planets' designed in 1878 for a stained-glass window at 'Woodlands', a house on the outskirts of Bradford the owner of which, Sir Angus Holden, was a popular local businessman currently serving as the town's mayor. Despite his earlier intimacy with Burne-Jones, it is unlikely that Solomon had access to these designs, which were made well after the collapse of his career following his conviction for 'gross indecency' in 1873. This did not, however, completely sever relations between the two artists, Burne-Jones responding to pleas for help from the destitute Solomon as late as 1880.

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