Exhibited: Evelyn Dunbar - The Lost Works, Pallant House Gallery, October 2015 - February 2016, cat 21. Literature: Evelyn Dunbar - The Lost Works
, eds Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2015, cat. 21, page 58; Evelyn Dunbar: A Life in Painting
, Christopher Campbell-Howes, October 2015, pages 150-152. The adjoining sub-gallery spandrels illustrate the fables The Fir Tree and the Bramble
(after Aesop, left) and The Elm Tree and the Vine
(from Ovid, Metamorphoses
, right). While The Fir Tree and the Bramble
is not greatly edifying, The Elm Tree and the Vine
is an early example of Dunbar’s fondness for literary allusion, together with a certain autobiographical element: in Ovid’s telling of the legend, the Vine (i.e. Dunbar) actively seeks the support of the Elm (i.e. Mahoney). (Classical Mediterranean vineyards often had elm supports.) In this light, this spandrel is a declaration of love.
We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes for assistance.