MARY FEDDEN RA (1915-2012)
Moonlight (Queen of Spades) 1992
gouache on paper
21.6 x 26.7 cm
Moonlight (Queen of Spades), which was inspired by Tchaikovsky’s opera The Queen of Spades (1890), was included in one of several exhibitions of Mary Fedden’s work shown at Glyndebourne Opera House. Tchaikovsky’s opera was based on a short story of the same title by Alexander Pushkin and both explore themes of love and gambling.
Fedden’s gouache, which depicts a still life in the foreground of a moonlit landscape, refers to a scene in the third act when the female protagonist, Liza tragically commits suicide. The saying ‘life is but a game’ (translated literally from the Russian ‘What is our life? A game!’) is a quote from Act 3 of the opera
Glyndebourne Festival Gallery, June 1992, no. 75.
Anonymous sale; Brightwells, Leominster, 27 July 2016, lot 557.