His diary note for May 8, 1915, reads:
Did not sleep last night, thinking of Lusitania and poor Lane, who, to-day, is among the missing. Have been depressed and disturbed with burst of anger - near to tears at the thought of the danger to Venice. How will the world be able to look itself in the face when the war ends?
|The New York Times reported the fate of the Lusitania|
The threat to Venice that Ricketts reported was related to the Treaty of London, which had been signed on 26 April 1915. Italy joined the side of Allied countries hoping to gain parts of the Austrian-Hungarian empire close to Northern Italy. At the Italian Front battles were fought between 1915 and 1918. Strategic bombings by the Empire were few, but Ricketts's fears were not unfounded, as two frescoes by Tiepolo in the Chiesa degli Scalzi were damaged by bombs. The remains are now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia.
Lane was 'a very old friend' of Ricketts and Shannon (as Ricketts wrote to Rik Roland Holst in June 1915), but the friendship had only started in 1904, when Shannon was invited by Lane to participate in an exhibition in St Louis, Missouri. The exhibition was cancelled, and Shannon's paintings went to the Guildhall in London for an exhibition of Irish artists, after he had been assured by family members that there was a drop of Irish blood in his veins. Ricketts had no Irish roots whatsoever. Lane brought them buyers for their paintings. 'The Parable of the Vineyard', a painting by Ricketts that he donated to the gallery that Lane was planning at the time, is now in the Dublin City Gallery.
|Charles Ricketts, 'The Parable of the Vineyard', oil on canvas, c. 1912 (Photo: © Dublin City Gallery)|