Friday, October 9, 2020

FAMOUS AS HE WAS INFAMOUS
SIMEON SOLOMON IS A SAINT OF ANTINOUS


ON October 9th we honour Simeon Solomon, who was born on this date in 1840, and who became one of the most famous and infamous pre-Raphaelite painters of the 19th Century.

He was an outcast in two regards: he was Jewish and he was homosexual.

The pre-Raphaelites rejected the industrial machine age in the mid-19th Century and sought to return the the artistic genius of the late Medieval and early Renaissance "before Raphael."

Solomon was acclaimed for his glowing depictions of Jewish life just as he was derided for his depictions of same-sex love.

At the height of his fame, he was arrested in 1873 at a public toilet on Oxford Street in the heart of London and thrown in jail. He was in and out of prison the rest of his life on similar public "indecency" convictions.

After his prosecutions he no longer exhibited, but achieved a degree of celebrity amongst those who shared his sensibilities, including Oscar WildeJohn Addington Symonds,Count Eric Stenbock, and Walter Pater, who all collected his works.

He continued to paint in prison. He died in ignominy 14 August 1905. He is a saint of Antinous!

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