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Reason, Akela

Love and Death in Elihu Vedder’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Akela Reason.
American Art, 29 (2015), 2, pp. 119–125.

Spiritual uncertainty figured in many of Elihu Vedder’s works. The artist acknowledged his fascination with this theme, writing in his autobiography, The Digressions of V., “it delights me to tamper and potter with the unknowable, and I have a strong tendency to see in things more than meets the eye.” Especially preoccupied by the mystery of death, Vedder returned to the subject again and again. Death comes in many forms in Vedder’s art—from “all-devouring” sphinxes presiding over desert wastes to the fratricidal conflict of the Old Testament, and devastating medieval plagues.