Lot 14
  • 14

Edward Robert Hughes, R.W.S.

30,000 - 50,000 GBP
143,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Edward Robert Hughes, R.W.S.
  • The Weary Moon
  • signed with initials l.r.: ERH; titled and inscribed with the artist's address on a label attached to the backboard
  • watercolour and bodycolour with gold and silver


Given by the artist to Thomas Matthews Rooke, London;
Sotheby's, Billingshurst, 31 January 1989, lot 191;
Private collection


London, Royal Watercolour Society, Winter Exhibition, 1911, no.305

Catalogue Note

'Art thou pale for weariness,/ Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,/ Wandering companionless/ Among the stars that have a different birth'.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, To The Moon

The present work is one of a group of watercolours by Hughes depicting the Roman Moon Goddess Diana in her form as Selene, an incarnation in which she took the form of the planet itself. In the present picture she is in her crescent shape in the moon's early phase of the lunar cycle surrounded by golden clouds and silvery stars. Her naked body is contoured with silver paint in emulation of similar experimental pictures by Edward Burne-Jones painted in the 1890s. It is perhaps significant that this picture was given by Hughes to Burne-Jones' studio assistant Thomas Rooke who had witnessed his master painting dancing figures and moon-maidens in such a way his later years.

A year before he painted The Weary Moon, Hughes exhibited a set pictures at the Royal Watercolour Society, Waxing Moon, Waning Moon, Radiant Moon and Shrouded Moon. In 1913 he painted a variant of the present picture entitled Pack, Clouds, Away! And Welcome Day (private collection).

We are grateful to Victoria Osborne, curator of the Edward Robert Hughes exhibition at Birmingham City Art Gallery in 2015, for her help in cataloguing this picture.