Carel Weight, R.A. 1908 - 1997
The Silence
Photo: R.A./John Hammond
© Royal Academy of Arts, London
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The Silence, 1965
Oil on board, 915 X 1220 X 25 mm
Diploma Work given by Carel Weight, R.A., accepted 1965
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Set in his garden in Wandsworth, Weight’s Diploma work depicts three people observing the two minutes silence on Remembrance Sunday. The artist explained that he always found this silence very eerie, when everything went quiet except sounds like a dog barking. This painting addresses the theme of human isolation, which is central to Weight’s work. He wished it to convey his belief that although people join to perform identical rituals they are essentially solitary individuals. To emphasise this, the three figures never met and were painted separately.
Weight trained at Hammersmith School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College. During the Second World War he was an official war artist in Italy. He subsequently taught at the Royal College of Art becoming Professor of Painting there in 1957.

This work is currently on display in the Reynolds Room at the Royal Academy of Arts and can be viewed by attending one of the free tours of the John Madejski Fine Rooms. Click here for further information about the tours