Portrait of a Cleric

Simeon Solomon British

Not on view

This portrait of a priest should be seen in the context of earlier works, where Solomon explored Roman Catholic,Orthodox and Jewish religious ceremonies and rituals, using rich colors, somber gestures and liturgical objects to point to invisible divine forces. The sitter's white hair contrasts with youthful features that seem to project an inner light; and the books lining shelves in the background point to a contemplative life. An imprecise inscription at lower left indicates a date of 1897–close to the end of the artist's life. Even as he suffered through rejection, poverty and alcoholism, Solomon continued to make meaningful works, occasionally forced to seek shelter in London's St. Giles's Workhouse.

Portrait of a Cleric, Simeon Solomon (British, London 1840–1905 London), Watercolor and gouache (bodycolor) on card

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