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

attributes of the moon

1947 

 Oil on board. 33¾ x 13¼in. (86.5 x 34.2cm.) Inscribed verso: ‘Ithell Colquhoun’, and the year. Provenance NT. Exhibited London, Mayor Gallery, 1947, (paintings), no. 20. London, Redfern Gallery, 1947, no. 212. Penzance, Newlyn Gallery, 1961, no. 22. Exeter, City Art Gallery, 1972, no. 8. Penzance, Newlyn Gallery, 1976, no. 22. The female aspect of matter – philosophic mercury – is often depicted in alchemy as a queen or as the moon. In Attributes of the Moon a female figure stands upon a crescent moon. She consists of cloudy, billowy forms and wears a crown of ten silver spheres a reference to the ten sephirah of the Tree of Life. The crown shows that she has authority over her domains. The lunar crescent under her feet alludes to the astral world and to the cycles of time. The decalcomania counterpart is also with the NT.