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Title

(Two heads), from Studies for 'Sea wrack involving the heads of Tristan and Isolde'

1947


Artist

James Gleeson

Australia

21 Nov 1915 - 20 Oct 2008


About

Gleeson's love of music was formed in his childhood, the German romantic composer Richard Wagner (1813-83) being a favourite. Wagner's personal philosophy of art placed equal emphasis on the role of the conscious and subconscious mind. his opera 'Tristan and Isolde' 1856-59 is set in the middle ages and tells the story of the doomed love of Cornish knight Tristan and Irish princess Isolde.

'Sea wrack involving the heads of Tristan and Isolde' was painted in London and is one of Gleeson's most successful and complex early works - a synthesis of motifs to which Gleeson returned on many occasions, such as the column of multi-faced heads and skulls, fire burning under the night sky and bound figures. The heads of Tristan and Isolde are entwined with hair and flanked by tribal masks.

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'James Gleeson: drawings for paintings', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003, pg. 43.


Details


Other Title

Studies for 'Sea-wreck involving the heads of Tristan and Isolde' (Two heads)


Place where the work was made

Sydney New South Wales Australia


Date

1947


Media category

Drawing


Materials used

blue ball-point pen, white crayon resist, grey wash


Dimensions

22.6 x 14.0 cm sheet


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Frank O'Keefe 1993


Location

Not on display


Accession number

161.1993


Artist information

James Gleeson

Artist profile

Works in the collection

479


Place

Where the work was made
Sydney

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Sydney, 2003, 43, 44 (colour illus.). cat.no. 8f