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SF20: Lenkiewicz Legacy Sale

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Diogenes and Belle At Prayer with Chairs

Auction Lot SF20/110

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Diogenes and Belle at Prayer with Chairs - Project 2. Death and the Maiden. 1974 oil on canvas 196 x 214cm.

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Diogenes and Belle At Prayer with Chairs (SF20/110) offered in our The Lenkiewicz Legacy Sale starting on 28th March 2015 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

Lot Description

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Diogenes and Belle at Prayer with Chairs - Project 2. Death and the Maiden. 1974 oil on canvas 196 x 214cm.


Begun in the autumn of 1974 after a surprise visit to Plymouth by Lenkiewicz' muse Belle Pecorini, this painting was completed too late to feature in the first showing of its Project on the theme of Death and the Maiden. Nevertheless, Lenkiewicz was able to submit it, unsuccessfully, to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1975. The work was shown at Lenkiewicz's gallery called the Fool in Clifton Street in 1974, its one room more than large enough for the seventy pictures, many of which introduced a new turn in the artist's method: 'the aesthetic note' - smaller works, usually executed in watercolour or gouache on paper on which were inscribed notes written in the artist's hand. These works, numbering almost fifty, were later bound into a large folio with many more notes and annotated sketches of memento mori in art across world cultures, including sketches he made during visits to the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection. This folio is titled Death & the Maiden Paintings: RO Lenkiewicz and is in the collection of the Lenkiewicz Foundation. The vagrant Diogenes, Edwin Mackenzie, featured extensively in this Project. in the Putrefaction of Diogenes he himself appeared as a memento mori - a gruesome reminder that death is inevitable - but here the motif appears in the classical form of the skull, reinforced by Lenkiewicz' favourite visual metaphor for absence and loss - The empty chair. The subject matter of the exhibition was based on Lenkiewicz's observation that: 'An intense aesthetic/personality interest in another person seems always to carry with it the inevitability of change in this change we witness the death of love and the decay of our interest. The undermining influence of this experience hints at the contact between 'Death and the Maiden' - between 'Love and Tragedy' - between life and us.' Literature RO Lenkiewicz (1997) White Lane Press. p.48 Robert Lenkiewicz. Paintings & Projects (2006) White Lane Press. Plate 9. Robert Lenkiewicz. Still Lives (2011) Lenkiewicz Archive. p. 9.


The Lenkiewicz Foundation Collection.

Price Realised




Fine Art Knowledge Base

Sale Information

SF20: Lenkiewicz Legacy Sale
Saturday, 28th March 2015
Okehampton Street, Exeter


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Okehampton Street, Exeter

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