Muse: Study for Drama
Framed (ref: 5076)
Signed on reverse
Black Prince pencil and chalk over watercolour and pencil, squared
20 1/4 x 10 1/2 in. (51.5 x 26.7 cm)
Provenance: the Artist's Estate
Exhibited: London 1999, The Fine Art Society, Charles Mahoney, catalogue no. 21.
Literature: Charles Mahoney, The Fine Art Society 1999, p. 48, illustrated p. 49.
The scheme to decorate Morley College was funded by Lord Duveen and followed on from his commission for Rex Whistler to decorate the Refreshment Room of the Tate Gallery (at a cost of £ 1,200). Six painters, all former students at the RCA, were invited to submit designs. Those chosen were Mahoney, Bawden and Ravilious. Mahoney's contribution, The pleasures of Life, was the central feature on the wall at the back of the stage used for orchestral concerts, dramatic performances and folk dancing.
In the foreground were seven Muses: (left to right) Dancing, Plastic Art, Music, Philosophy, Drama, Poetry and Prose. Country Dances, Outdoor Pastimes and Apple Picking were presented in the spaces above.
The scheme was completed in situ during an 18 months period and was worked in oil paint mixed with wax, on canvas, fixed to the wall. The building was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War and none of the work of the three artists survived.