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The Lotus Eater
© Estate of Eileen Agar

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The Lotus Eater Dated 1939

Not on display

The reference to classical mythology, both in the title of this work and in the Greek mask featured, was probably inspired by Agar's trip to the south of France in 1939. With this collage, which was based on a cut-out illustration of a ‘primitive’ mask, Agar evokes a world of carefree indulgence, much as she imagines the fabled lotus eaters to have inhabited. When the Scottish National Modern One acquired the work, Agar wrote a note concerning the title: “Lotophagi: A fabulous people living on the Lotus-flower, the effect of which was to make the eater forget his own country and desire to live in the Lotus-land of his own choosing. The legend was the origin of [this] collage”.

Glossary Open


An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.


Refers to figures and events from myths which are the ancient stories that usually explain the origins of historical or natural phenomena.


A term once used to describe the art of non-Western cultures such as Africa and Oceania, now generally seen as deprecatory and indicative of an outdated belief in Western superiority. It is also used to describe artists, usually self-taught, who work outside of the currents of mainstream art practice.

Collage, Mythological, Primitive


  • Acc. No. GMA 2079
  • Medium Paper collage with watercolour and ink on paper
  • Size 38.10 x 28.20 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1979