description Frankfurther's reworking of the classic Pietà, or Lamentation of Christ, is stripped of Christian religious overtones as, characteristically, she focuses on Mary's emotion at the sight of her dead son, her expression grieving but restrained, as she cradles his dramatically foreshortened head and torso. A palette of fleshy pink and dark purple tones contributes to a reading of the narrative as a dark, human tragedy. The work may also reflect Frankfurther's admiration for the work of German realist Käthe Kollwitz, who reworked the Pietà to explore her grief at the death of her own son. The painting relates to two preparatory studies (one in pencil and one in inkwash) of the same title.
dimensions 76 x 50 cm
medium oil on paper
exhibition history 'East End Academy: Annual Exhibition', Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 14 Dec 1957 – 5 Jan 1958, (103), £10; 'Eva Frankfurther 1930-1959: Memorial Exhibition', Boundary Gallery, London, 2001, (72), NFS.
literature ed., B. Planskoy, 'Eva Frankfurther 1930-1959: Paintings, lithographs and drawings' (London: Peter Halban, 2001), illus., p. 116; ed., S. MacDougall 'Refiguring the 50s: Joan Eardley, Sheila Fell, Eva Frankfurther, Josef Herman, L S Lowry' (London: Ben Uri, 2014), p. 30.
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