Friday, August 1, 2008

August 1st Partial eclipse of the Sun

Eclipse of the Sunflower

This rather dramatic painting is to be found at The Victoria Gallery part of an exhibition called Ancient Landscapes, Pastoral Visions, and it seemed appropiate to marke the partial eclipse of the sun today with Paul Nash's Eclipse of the Sunflower.
Why did he choose this particular expression of the sun eclipsing the sunflower, he was coming to the end of his life, both through ill health and the war. For him the sunflower had many meanings, for instance the sunflower always follows the path of the sun, and in the classical myth Clytie was punished by her sister who turned her into a flower so that she 'turns with the sun and reflects its colour', and it was in the 19th century that it became the symbol for yearning or unrequited love. And of course an eclipsed sun-disc could also reflect the 'infernal calamity of a global conflict', So this painting represents Nash seeing himself as 'escaping into vast lonely places in complete freedom of bodily action, escaping the land but in death returning to it'.
There are several other Nash paintings at the exhibition...

Druid Landscape

Landscape of the Megaliths

This last painting is not the same 'landscape of the Megaliths' that is normally shown.

Ref; Catalogue - Ancient Landscapes, Pastoral Visions by Anne Anderson, Robert Meyrick, Peter Nahum

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