Blake Ward

An Appointment in Samarra

ReThink Collection

An Appointment in Samarra
This Sculpture is presently FOR SALE
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Death Speaks
There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “master.” just now when I was in the market place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned she made a threatening gesture, now, lend me our horse and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.” The merchant lent him his horse, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the market place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” “That was not a threatening gesture,” I said, “it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra”
W. Somerset Maugham 1933

An Appointment in Samarra

The Inspiration 

Originally inspired by a watercolour by W.J.M. Turner entitle “Death on a pale Horse” this sculpture was over five years in construction. The first two attempts were unacceptable and subsequently destroyed.

This last portray of Death was further influenced by Greek Mythology and the subsequent inclusion of thee Three Fates. Clotho, the spinner, who spun the thread of a person’s life, Lachesis, the apportioner, who determined its’ length, and Atropos, who cut the thread of life at the end of a persons’ time.

The Fates were thought to predate the gods, and that their powers might extend to control the fate of the gods as well. The drapery that covers this work is a tribute to this idea, with the Death collecting the threads of each life and thus creating the long elegant flowing drapery that covers her.



81cm, 66cm, 28cm (Height, Width, Depth)
Edition of 3 plus 1 Artist Proof
Figurative, Realistic, Classic
Body, Spirituality, Society
All artworks from Blake Ward
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