The Sense of Sight by Annie Swynnerton

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The Sense of Sight by Annie Swynnerton The sense of light can be a very special feeling, especially when you have remained indoors, or gained vision by some miracle after blindness. The presence of a miracle is quite obvious in Annie Swynnerton’s painting here in oil-on-canvas, deliberately portrayed through the wings of the angelic woman. However, this has more to do with the woman being an angelic being, rather than just anyone receiving a miraculous decree. The hopeful look into the sky is so unblemished, that she hopes it will culminate into complete euphoria pretty soon.

Painting NameThe Sense of Sight
Painter NameAnnie Swynnerton
Size87 x 101 cm (34¼" x 3' 3.76")
Current LocationPrivate collection

Swynnerton is a woman of courage – something one can find in her paintings. Although she was a major contributor in feminism in the early 1900s, her admiration for miracles, characters, principled people, uniqueness and innocence remains unchanged across all her works. Moreover, it can be hard to tell whether the woman in the painting is someone she knew – like her Henry James or the Joan of Arc painting.

People in her bank of inspiration have been little boys, men, women and primarily those who seem to have a fettered mountain of feelings. They may not be of any passing significance, but a colossus of truth about the inner being of humans in society.

The Sense of Light carries the meaning of miracle very effectively, because one can already see something unreal bout the subject when you notice her wings. Unlike most other Swynnerton paintings, which have been on mortal subjects, the woman in Sense of Light is an angel, whose gaining a ‘sense of sight’ is rather important than her simply being an angel. However, she has to be an angel to gain that sense of light. It is also interesting to note that the angel may have been blind – or perhaps in the spiritual sense – causing sense of light a rather imminent event, in reference to her angelic being.


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