(Above: The Mystery Of Faith by Simeon Solomon)
Room 8, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
6th Sep 2019 – 1st March 2020
Reviewed by Cassius James
I became witness to two of the paintings by Simeon Solomon. His works impressed me greatly.
The Mystery Of Faith
The Mystery Of Faith painting exuded great aesthetic beauty and great competence within its work. The subtlety is silks in which he adorns in the picture, it look beautiful and have a realism that makes you want reach out and touch. His impressive expression symbolizes sensitivity, openness and a kind of doubt around faith and church itself.
Girl at The Fountain
This magnificent painting shows an effortless realism with Rossetti-like influences. It seems to be sensitively done and the eternal gaze upon which the woman’s face is exemplary. It makes the viewer wonder at what the lady is looking at and what it is she is thinking about.
It would seem that Solomon himself was victimized because of his homosexuality and the practice of it. Because of those times his sexuality would have been a safely guarded secret. One whisper of it coming out about him in such a way would have destroyed him and his career. His natural flair of painting is evident and his realism in his work is quite simply extraordinary.
He was obviously a great artist who conveyed the human aesthetic very well and could have gone on to do great things. Very interesting culturally how things have changed, yet in other ways stunted in times tracks. He seems like the Oscar Wilde of nineteenth century painting and would be on the tip of everyone’s tongue if he had lived longer or been born in different times.