SIR WILLIAM GASCOMBE JOHN (BRITISH, 1860-1952)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
SIR WILLIAM GASCOMBE JOHN (BRITISH, 1860-1952)

Orpheus

Details
SIR WILLIAM GASCOMBE JOHN (BRITISH, 1860-1952)
Orpheus
signed to the reverse 'W. Goscombe John' (on a later mahogany socle)
bronze, dark brown patina
7 ½ in. (21.5 cm.) high
11 ¾ in. (32 cm.) high, overall
Literature
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
Gibson to Gilbert: British Sculpture 1840-1914, The Fine Art Society, exhibition catalogue, London, 1992, p. 4, no. 39.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

A rare work, the present lot is most likely a single cast and is a derivation of the artist’s memorial tablet in honour of the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900). The original tablet was completed in 1902 and placed in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, where the member of the musical duo Gilbert and Sullivan was buried by order of Queen Victoria. Modelled in high-relief, it depicts the god of Music standing with his attribute, the lyre, against a ground inscribed with a dedication to Sullivan. A variation of the relief was offered in the 1992 Fine Art Society exhibition Gibson to Gilbert: British Sculpture 1840-1914, with differences to the position of the figure’s head and proper right arm and which did not include reference to Sullivan, but was simply inscribed ‘Orpheus’ in Greek to the bottom edge and is certainly the artist’s later attempt to retrieve a second work from a highly specific commission. The example seen here presents the figure’s head in a slightly raised, modified, third position, an interesting insight the continuing development of the composition by the artist.

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