Watercolour and pencil on card; signed
12½ x 8¾ inches
Spare’s ‘sidereal’ pictures of the 1930s were anamorphic portraits drawn after photographs of Hollywood stars. ‘Sidereal’ was a pun on the actual definition of the word – ‘determined by the stars’ – and the suggestion of an image viewed from the side. Spare, who was powerfully motivated by the occult, had probably read Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual (1896) by Eliphas Levi: the ‘sidereal body’ is ‘an intermediary between the soul and physical envelope ... This body frequently remains awake while the latter sleeps, and passes in thought through all space ... It lengthens without breaking the sympathetic chain which attaches it to our heart and brain’.