Artist Alan Sorrell: Study for People Seeking After Wisdom, 1928

Artist Alan Sorrell (1904-1974): Study for People Seeking After Wisdom, 1928

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Alan Sorrell (1904-1974):
Study for People Seeking After Wisdom, 1928
Framed (ref: 934)
Dated March 1928
Pencil, gouache and black chalk on paper / tracing paper 

49.5 x 38 cm (19 1/2 x 15 in.)

See all works by Alan Sorrell chalk gouache pencil men women 1.BSR 1.PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST

Provenance: The Artist's family


Sacha Llewellyn & Richard Sorrell (ed), Alan Sorrell; the Life and Works of an English Neo-Romantic Artist, (Bristol: Sansom & Co.) 2013, pp. 70-77.

Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.356.

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.  The figure at the back of the group, staring out at the viewer, is a self portrait, and the woman in the front is Evelyn Gibbs who won a Rome Scholarship (in Engraving) one year after Sorrell had won his for Decorative Painting.