Simeon Solomon: a talk by Frank Vigon
The painter Simeon Solomon was born in 1840 in the East End of London to a well-known Jewish family. His mother, sister and brother were also artists and he associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, as well as Swinburne. Solomon was something of a celebrity: he exhibited at the RA, Oscar Wilde owned his work (and mentions it in De Profundis) and a long poem he wrote, “A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep”, was praised by John Addington Symonds.
In 1873 Solomon was arrested in public toilets near Oxford Street and tried for “attempted buggery, effectively ending his artistic career. A year later, he was arrested in another toilet in Paris and imprisoned. Within a decade of imprisonment, Solomon was in a workhouse in Covent Garden, still painting but alcoholic. He died of drink-related complications in 1905 and was buried at Willesden Jewish Cemetery.
His life has fascinated writers including Neil Bartlett whose 1987 play about the painter is also called “A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep”. Frank Vigon became interested in Simeon Solomon when preparing a lecture on Jewish painters. He has campaigned to restore Solomon’s long-neglected grave in Willesden and set up a scholarship at the University of York to establish a legacy in the artist’s name.
The talk is free but donations will be gratefully received.
OutStories Bristol AGM
The talk will be followed by refreshments and the annual general meeting of OutStories Bristol, which all are welcome to attend. We will update you on what we have done so far and what projects we are working on next.