Passing Days by John Melhuish Strudwick, 1849-1937. Oil on canvas. Source: 1891 Art-Journal. Collection of Mr. W. Imrie, of Liverpool (as of 1891). See commentary below. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Commentary by George Bernard Shaw in the 1891 Art-Journal

In 'Passing Days' a man sits watching the periods of his life pass in procession from the future into the past. He stretches out his hands to the bygone years of his youth at the prompting of Love; but Time interposes the blade of his scythe between them; and the passing hour covers her face and weeps bitterly. The burdened years of age are helped by the strength of those that go before; and then comes a year which foresees death and shrinks from it, though the last year, which death overtakes, has lost all thought of it. As a pictorial poem, this subject could hardly be surpassed; and it is not unlikely that it will be painted again and again by different hands. Indeed, the painter himself has recurred to it, though with an entirely new treatment, in 'A Golden Thread,' purchased for the public under the Chantrey Bequest in 1885.

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Shaw, George Bernard. "J.M. Strudwick". Art Journal (1891): 99-101 Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 8 April 2014

Last modified 8 April 2014