Wednesday, December 23, 2020

491. Longing for the Sun

One hundred years ago, Charles Ricketts wrote in his diary:

My temper or mind always goes eastwards and southwards. I long for the sun and the sense of antiquity. Yes, Peking, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Angkor, Burmah, Ceylon, Egypt. I would like all these, but shall we ever have money enough or energy enough? 
(Letter to Cecil Lewis in Peking, 24 December 1920, published in Self-Portrait, 1939, pp. 326-327).

Suzuki Harunobu, colour woodcut bequeathed to the
British Museum: 423024001 by Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon
(CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license]

Of these places and countries, Ricketts only visited Egypt (twice, in 1911 and 1912). Later, in 1927, he would make a trip to Tunisia. He did not travel to Asia. However, there were many Asian works of art in his collection.