Artist: De Morgan, Evelyn
Object Number: P_EDM_0039
Date: 1909
Category: Oil on canvas and Paintings
Material: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Canvas: H 612 x W 530 mm Framed H 794 x W 694 x D 45 mm
Inscriptions: Signature, 1909: ‘EDeM / 1909’

As a spiritualist Evelyn was obsessed with the opposing concepts of materialism and spiritual wellbeing and she returns to this theme in several of her paintings. The most overt representation being in her painting, The Worship of Mammon, which she painted in 1909

Mammon is the God of worldliness. The word in Syriac means riches and occurs in the Bible, in Matthew’s Gospel which states “You cannot serve two masters…you cannot serve God and Mammon”.

In the painting, the woman clutches desperately at the knee of the statue, yearning up into his face, which stares down at her remorselessly. The statue holds out a bag of gold, but the woman ignores the money. She has moved from the love of gold, to the love of Mammon himself and so has cut herself off from the love of God and has doomed herself.