Charles Sims spent most of his painting career as a conventional landscape and portrait painter, rather in the manner of John Singer Sargent. He was very successful and rose to become a Royal Academician and eventually ‘Keeper’ of the RA collection. But the advent of the First World War had a profound effect on Sims’ work, and the death of his son in action caused him considerable mental turmoil. Whether it was a self-conscious desire to escape from the awful realities of those years or address them spiritually, his paintings became increasingly strange, populated by an ever weirder array of fauns, satyrs and fairy-like creatures. Our large oil dates from this time and features an ethereal piper leading an array of mythological creatures in a frenzied dance in a woodland clearing.
Charles Sims RA RWS (1873-1928)