Artist: De Morgan, Evelyn
Object Number: P_EDM_0024
Date: 1907
Category: Paintings, Standen, and Oil on canvas
Material: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Canvas: H 1952 x W 1002 mm Framed: H 2645 x W (top) 1730, W (bottom) 1605 x D (top) 210, D (bottom) 140 mm
Inscriptions: Signature, 1907: ‘EDeM 1907’
Description:

This painting is in response to the Boer war.

In Our Lady of Peace we see a Christian knight, who is about to depart for battle, kneel in a church, and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Peace). De Morgan’s use of traditional Christian iconography and chivalric imagery is however, subverted by the look of nervous consternation on the face of the young knight who seems to be praying not only for protection, but also in the idealistic hope that his actions will bring peace.

Roman Catholic veneration of Our Lady of Peace focuses on her roles as a mediatrix of humanity to God, protector from dangers and advocate of sinners and during both the Boer and First World War’s there was widespread use of Christian and in particular Marian (of Mary) imagery in order to make sense of the disasters of war. Evelyn’s depiction of the Blessed Virgin Mary, surrounded by celestial rainbows and bedecked in laurel wreaths is therefore a potent and recognizable symbol of salvation, redemption and hope in the face of the futility of attempting to bring peace by waging war.

This painting was restored in 2018 with generous donations from:
Lorna Barrable
Sharon Farrell
Beverley Ann Mountford
Jean McMeakin
Arthur Maginn
Rebecca Whitaker
Jane Bailey
Julia Ridgway
Paul Redpath
Harriet Kitchenham
James Kitchenham
Paul Jackson
Julia Hett
Debbie Hardy
David Benstead
Ms C A Yates
Richard Walker