Solomon Joseph Solomon

British, b.1860, d.1927

Psyche

  • Presented by the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1932
  • Oil on canvas
  • 900 x 1530mm
  • 91/75
  • 1902

On the night of 21 June 1942 or the early morning of 22 June a person or persons unknown broke into the Robert McDougall Art Gallery through a skylight window and removed this painting from the walls. The thieves took the painting by first removing the canvas stretcher from the frame and then stripping the canvas from its stretcher.

The 90 cm by 153 cm painting was originally brought to New Zealand in 1907 as an exhibit in the British section of the 1906-7 International Exhibition held in Christchurch. During the time of this exhibition, many works were purchased by the Canterbury Society of Arts including this one, for which they paid £440. The painting was exhibited with the Society’s permanent collection in the Durham Street Art Gallery until 1932 when it was presented to the Robert McDougall Art Gallery. The mystery of what happened to this painting remains. It has never been recovered.