ithell colquhoun magician born of nature
© All texts copyright Richard Shillitoe 2015-16  All artworks copyright the estate of the artist.

ages of man

1944 

Oil on panel. 11½ x 7in. (29.4 x 18.2cm.) Signed and dated: ‘Colquhoun/44’ lower left. Provenance NT. Exhibited London, Mayor Gallery, 1947, (paintings), no. 6. Cambridge, Heffer Gallery, 1953, no. 2. Penzance, Newlyn Gallery, 1961, no. 36. London, Leva Gallery, 1974, no. 18. London, Store Street Gallery, 2013. There are several schemes for the Ages of Man. Colquhoun may have had in mind either Helena Blavatsky’s theory of seven root races (of which current human beings – the ‘egg born’ – are fifth) or Aleister Crowley’s idea of aeonics, the third of which, the age of Horus, was said to have commenced in 1904. Two threads or tendrils, pre-dominantly red and blue, wend their way down a plain walled passageway, through transparent veils, and periodically blossom into forms that resemble seed-pods. The decalcomania counterpart of the tendrils is with the NT which also has a watercolour study of the central thread.