Chasing the Fleet-Foot Roe
Prior to the First World War, Charles Sims often painted mythological or allegorical scenes with erotic undertones. His first exhibited work at the Royal Academy was 'The Vine' (1896), described by the ODNB as depicting 'an orgiastic party'. This watercolour shows vague nude figures hunting deer in a Classical landscape. Sims was influenced by Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), whose work he had seen at the Louvre whilst a student at the Académie Julian in Paris. Later Sims supported himself by painting society portraits, but abandoned this for oblique, abstract, spiritual works in the 1920s which confounded the art establishment. Traumatised by the death of his son and his experiences as a War Artist in the First World War, he experienced insomina, paranoia and hallucinations. He died by suicide in 1926. There is an oil study for this work in Bury Museum and Art Gallery.