Robert Griffiths Hodgins (South African, 1920-2010) Two from Babylon (2003/4)

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Lot 6
Robert Griffiths Hodgins
(South African, 1920-2010)
Two from Babylon (2003/4)

Sold for £ 27,750 (US$ 37,431) inc. premium
Robert Griffiths Hodgins (South African, 1920-2010)
Two from Babylon (2003/4)
titled, signed and dated (verso)
oil on canvas
89.5 x 120cm (35 1/4 x 47 1/4in).

Footnotes

  • Babylon is famed for being one of the largest cities of the ancient world - perhaps the first to have a population that exceeded 200,000. As such, it has come to be a byword for cosmopolitan worldliness.

    In the Christian tradition, it is characterised as a den of sin and material idolatry. In the Book of Revelations, the city is personified as the 'Whore of Babylon'.

    The Babylonian Empire's most famous monarch, King Nebuchadnezzar II, is described as "the destroyer of nations" in the Book of Daniel. He is responsible for the destruction of Solomon's Temple and the Siege of Jerusalem. The conquering King is not only hungry for power and territory - he is also guilty of avarice. In chapter three of the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar orders his herald to make an announcement to all his subjects. When the horn sounds, all must fall down and worship the image made of gold set up by the King. Whoever does not worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. When Daniel and his fellow Christians refuse to fall before the idol, Nebuchadnezzar has them thrown onto a fire.

    Hodgins' keen social conscience is evident in his paintings. They satirise human greed, dishonesty, moral flabbiness, hypocrisy. In this work, the artist appears to be questioning whether contemporary society is doomed to repeat the sins of ancient Babylon.
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