Love Among the Schoolboys

Simeon Solomon British

Not on view

The old-fashioned outfits worn by the boys in this drawing connect the image to Eton College, an elite British secondary school. Solomon was close friends with Oscar Browning, a reforming educator and assistant master at the school who sought to reform long-established, cruel disciplinary methods. Browning's ideas likely inspired the image which centers on the winged figure of Love preaching to boys of varying ages in a schoolroom. Some seem transfixed, some embrace their fellows, and one reacts with suspicion. Around this date Solomon devoted a series of line drawings to the Greek philosophical idea that the closest human intimacy was possible only between persons of the same sex. Repressive Victorian social mores and legal penalities meant that the artist sought veiled ways to express his own homosexuality.

Love Among the Schoolboys, Simeon Solomon (British, London 1840–1905 London), Pen and ink over traces of graphite

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