download

Date made: 1914-1918
Artist: Knox, Archibald
Description: The calligraphy reads ‘With a multitude of rewards come to me’. Page forty-seven of bound volume.
Materials: watercolour on paper
Object name: book
Collection: Art Collection
ID number: 1958-0202/47

This is Page 47 of the bound volume of The Deer’s Cry at the Manx Museum.

A multitude of colours and patterns may be representing the rewards? Is my imagination running away with me and playing tricks with me? The main things I see on the page are a rabbit (or hare) and a left hand white glove. I looked up both these things on the internet and was very surprised by what I found.

In Celtic mythology and folklore the hare is very important and In Irish folklore the hare is also often associated with the Otherworld (Aos Si) community whose world was reached through mists, hills, lakes, ponds, wetland areas, caves, ancient burial sites, cairns and mounds. Shapeshifters were often said to take the form of the hare. There is a legend that the Celtic warrior Oisin hunted a hare, wounding it in the leg. Oisin followed the wounded animal into a thicket where he found a door leading down into the ground. He went in and came to a large hall where he found a beautiful young woman sitting on a throne bleeding from a leg wound.. The Deer’s Cry is St. Patrick’s verse and at the time when legend sates that he was turned into the shape of a deer when the Irish king’s men were trying to find him and kill him. Was Knox thinking of this in his illustration or am I being far too fanciful?

Archibald Knox was a freemason and, again according to the internet, the left hand white glove is a constant reminder of equity and justice toward all. In earlier Christian times the priest/bishop would wear white gloves for communion to signify his cleanliness and innocence. The imagination has run riot today. Whether it has run down the correct path is another matter!

The words in the above paragraphs are just my personal and subjective thoughts. Knox must have had so many ideas and thoughts behind this page and the other pages which, perhaps, we will never know.

The Archibald Knox Forum would like to hear your thoughts, ideas and comments on any of the pages from The Deer’s Cry.