Allegorical Self-Portrait, 1873

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Solomon studied with the Pre-Raphaelite painters Rossetti and Burne-Jones, who were influenced by Italian art of the 15th century. Solomon's friendship with the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne diverted his interests from Old Testament subject matter to quasi-erotic, ancient Greek themes. In 1873, the date of this work, Solomon was arrested for a homosexual solicitation, and became a social outcast. He was completely abandoned by Swinburne and his friends in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In this poignant self-portrait, Solomon recognizable by his mass of wavy hair, lowered eyelids, aquiline nose and sharp chin, represents himself as an androgynous, winged, figure clad only in a Greek chlamys, contemplating his tenuous future in a crystal ball beneath a starry sky. Appropriately, he clutches a branch of the plant Solomon's Seal in his left arm. In 1905, Solomon died of chronic alcoholism.

Details
Title
Allegorical Self-Portrait
Artist Life
1840 - 1905
Role
Artist
Accession Number
68.49.1
Provenance
[Hans M. Calmann, London, until 1968; sold June 10, for £250, to Mia]
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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