Study for People Seeking After Wisdom, 1928
Unmounted (ref: 3693)
pencil, ink and white gouache on grey paper, squared
58.2 x 41.4 cm (23 x 16 1/4 in.)
Provenance: The artist's son, Richard Sorrell
Literature: Sacha Llewellyn & Richard Sorrell (ed), Alan Sorrell; the Life and Works of an English Neo-Romantic Artist, (Bristol: Sansom & Co.) 2013, pp. 70-77.
This is a preparatory drawing for the Final Competition of the Rome Scholarship, for which candidates were required to produce a ‘Decoration for the Lunette in the Library of the British School at Rome’.
Sorrell chose as his subject People Seeking after Wisdom. While the Bible contains many references to the attainment of knowledge as a pre-requisite of enlightenment, the motif of blindfolded figures is equally reminiscent of the harrowing images of bandaged soldiers from the Great War, such as John Singer Sargent’s Gassed, 1919.