London

Neil Bartlett And Robin Whitmore, A Vision Of Love Revealed In Sleep

Battersea Arts Centre

“Poor little devil, what will become of him?” asked Dante Gabriel Rossetti about Simeon Solomon, in his youth a celebrated painter and socialite, later the forgotten man of Pre-Raphaelitism, an alcoholic who sold matches, worked as a sidewalk artist, and died in a London workhouse. After the police caught him having intercourse with a man twice his age in a public urinal, Solomon’s circumstances grew steadily worse until his death 32 years later, in 1905. “My behavior has been perfectly disgraceful,” he admitted cheerfully when he was sentenced. Yet nothing resembling an apology ever passed his lips. Instead, he continued to base his art on fantasies woven around his affairs with teenage boys and decided to reject the society that had already rejected him. Interviewed late in life by reporters who could see the wretchedness of the workhouse, Solomon, lice-ridden and half-starved, refused

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