This painting depicts a diverse group of figures travelling across the sea or sky. Egyptian motifs prevail, not least the idea of the mythological solar barges used to convey the souls of the dead to the afterlife. Yet the grouping also shines with Christian imagery; this assembly of twelve around a central figure with a halo-like headdress resembled the iconic Da Vinci ‘Last Supper,’ invoking both redemption and resurrection, and the bird flying in front of the ship suggests the white dove flying ahead of the arc. Exploring ideas of travel and exploration, the figures face in both directions to suggest an openness to the direction of adventure; the painting’s Cornish ancestry just alluded to in the Alfred Wallis-esque naïve boat in the lower left corner.
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