Head of Department
Blazing a Trail / Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) The Travellers and the Bear 56 x 76 cm. (22 x 29 7/8 in.)
£6,000 - £8,000
With Waddington Galleries, London, where acquired by
Private Collection, U.K.
An acute receptor of a variety of cultural references - one need only think of her masterpiece, Paternoster, located in the vicinity of St. Paul's Cathedral, which sharply coalesces the iconography of the Good Shepherd and the history of the place as a cattle market - Frink is not new to this kind of artistic commentary on traditional wisdom. Commonly attributed to Aesophus, the moral of The Bear and the Travellers is that only misfortune tests true friendship. Shortly after having sworn eternal loyalty to his fellow traveller, a man abandons his companion at the sight of a frightening bear. Deserted, all that remains to the betrayed fellow is to pretend to be dead. The beast approaches, gets close to his ear to smell him, and then goes. Having escaped the danger, the unfaithful friend wittily asks "what did it tell you?" and the man replies "to choose my friends more carefully."