Bellany, John - Death Knell for John Knox

Artist: Bellany, John
Materials: Handmade paper
Dimensions (cm): 20 x 17.5
Dimensions (inches): 7.9 x 6.9
Signature: Signed "John Bellany" lower right
Frame: Unframed
Stock No: 0343A
Price: £195
Provenance: REFA acquisition

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Genre: Portrait


A subject that goes to the root of Bellany’s Calvinist upbringing on the east coast of Scotland and its preoccupation with mortality and sin.

A print from this edition is held in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland, which provides this background information:

This is one of a series of prints Bellany made in 1970, when he was beginning to explore the potential of etching. Here Bellany reflects on his Calvinist demonology. John Knox, the leader of the Protestant Reformation, lies on his death bed as skeletal figures of death emerge from the darkness behind. The intense shadow cast by Knox implies a strong light, as if he is about to pass to the other side.

Image size 20 x 17.5 on handmade paper, sheet size 56 x 38 cm. Signed and marked A/P (artist’s proof).