Jeffrey Smart

Jeffrey Smart
Jacob descending

Creation date: 1979

Music composed by YL Hooi

Jacob descending is one of Smart’s most dreamlike images. It presents the double helix of a red spiral staircase containing a suited male figure. Jacob’s ladder also appears in the Christian Book of Genesis, as a symbol of the connection between Heaven and Earth. It is also likely that Smart was familiar with the English artist and poet William Blake’s image of Jacob’s dream (c 1805) in the British Museum, which includes a spiral staircase.

Return to tour home