Editor’s note: Katariina Kottonen’s excellent write-up of a talk between Peter Meinertzhagen and Professor Nick Groom from 2017 was originally published on Chance and Physics.

The description goes as such: a sleeping woman is draped over the end of a bed with her head hanging down. An incubus is crouched upon her stomach. From the curtains in the background emerges a horse’s head with glowing eyes. The setting is rich in colour – dark reds, yellows and ochres – while the dreaming figure is brilliantly white. The painting is titled The Nightmare, but its explicit eroticism suggests other, more sensual interpretations.

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