Thursday, January 17, 2008

Exiit Edictum

David Jones 1895-1974
Exiit Edictum 1949
Drawing and gouache on paper
support: 406 x 330 mm
on paper, unique
The Tate, London

Large painted inscriptions were an important part of Jones's later work, beginning around 1943.

The Latin texts that Jones has chosen here refer to Christmas.

'Exiit Edictum' comes from the account of Christ's birth in St Luke's Gospel, and the separate line of 'Iam Redit Apollo' comes from Virgil's Fourth Eclogue, which Christian writers believed prophesied Christ's birth.

Jones combines fragments from different texts, so as to give visual form to a complex of inter-related meaning.