About this artwork

This painting shows Don Juan, the legendary libertine, as he is about to kill the Commander who was protecting his daughter from Don Juan’s advances. The towering statue references the climax of the story when Don Juan is told he will be punished. He takes the statue’s outstretched hand and finds himself in an unbreakable grip. The statue then drags Don Juan to Hell. Ricketts was the co-founder of the Vale Press and ‘The Dial’ magazine, which published poetry by the young John Gray, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde. Gray later became a priest and received Aubrey Beardsley, the illustrator and author, into the Catholic faith. Beardsley produced an illustration for Moliere’s 1896 play based on the legend of Don Juan.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    Charles Ricketts (1866 - 1931) English
  • title:
    Don Juan and the Commander
  • date created:
    About 1905
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    43.20 x 33.20 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Presented by the Very Rev. Canon J. Gray 1934
  • accession number:
    GMA 1007
  • gallery:
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