8 December 2015
KENNINGTON, Eric. "The Wind". Proof impression of Kennington's illustration, [c. 1925] 120 x 150mm. (Slightly creased, darkened on right margin.) Matted with Lawrence's clipped pencilled signature ("T.E. Shaw"), framed and glazed, frame annotated on backing board "a proof of one of Eric Kennington's drawings for 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom'. With T.E. Lawrence's signature." Provenance: Dr. Lionel Dakers (1924-2003) (his collection, sold Christie's London, 15 November 2006, lot 226).
A PROOF OF ONE OF KENNINGTON'S ILLUSTRATIONS FOR SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM. "Wind" (which occurs on p. 301 of the "Subscriber's" edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom), was one of a series of humorous illustrations drawn by Kennington to illustrate the work; in a letter to Sydney Cockerell of 15 October 1924, Lawrence wrote: "Kennington was moved to incongruous mirth, reading my book, and a dozen Bateman-quality drawings came of it. To my mind they are as rare, surprising and refreshing as plums in cake (I've never had plums in cake, but you know the sort of feeling it would be) and lighten up the whole. It's good that someone is decent enough to find laughter in a stodgy mess of mock-heroic egotism" (Letters, London: 1938, pp. 468-469). "Wind" illustrates an incident described in chapter LVII of Seven Pillars of Wisdom: at the station at Ismailia, Admirals Wemyss and Burmester and two other officers disembarked, and began to pace up and down the platform. "A terrible tension grew along the platform as the party marched up and down in its weighty talk. Officers saluted once: twice: still they marched up and down. Three times was too much. Some withdrew to the fence and stood permanently to attention: these were the mean souls. Some fled: these were the contemptibles. Some turned to the bookstall and studied book-backs avidly: these were the shy. Only one was blatant" -- and thus Lawrence succeeded in catching Burmester's eye, and reporting on the raid on Akaba to him (p. 300).
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