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

alchemical figure

1940 

Watercolour and pencil. 13¼ x 6¾in. (34 x 17.6cm.) Titled and dated lower left. Provenance NT then TGA. Exhibited St. Ives, Tate Gallery, 2009. Areas of the standing male figure’s body are painted in different colours, suggesting the influence of Qabalistic colour theories. However, none of the colours correspond to those identified in any of the colour scales as taught by the Golden Dawn. It must be remembered, however, that ceremonial magic is concerned with the spiritual development of the practitioner, rather than the mere propagation of received wisdom. In this work, Colquhoun was more engaged in personal research rather than illustrating occult colour theory. That she was not averse to modifying accepted colours for her own purposes is shown in several of her writings.