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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
AN IMPORTANT ENGLISH WHITE MARBLE FIGURE OF 'THE TIRED HUNTER', by Edward Hodges Baily, shown naked save for part of his discarded cloak at his loins, his athletic body rendered in repose as he leans against a tree trunk, the tree trunk partly obscured by the heavy folds of drapery falling to the ground, his faithful hound seated behind his crossed legs, his hand resting caressingly on the dog's head with his fingers playing with its ear, his left hand leaning back onto the tree trunk, his hunting horn and drapery around his wrist, signed and dated E. H. BAILY. R.A. SC. 1851, mid 19th Century

Details
AN IMPORTANT ENGLISH WHITE MARBLE FIGURE OF 'THE TIRED HUNTER', by Edward Hodges Baily, shown naked save for part of his discarded cloak at his loins, his athletic body rendered in repose as he leans against a tree trunk, the tree trunk partly obscured by the heavy folds of drapery falling to the ground, his faithful hound seated behind his crossed legs, his hand resting caressingly on the dog's head with his fingers playing with its ear, his left hand leaning back onto the tree trunk, his hunting horn and drapery around his wrist, signed and dated E. H. BAILY. R.A. SC. 1851, mid 19th Century
74in. (188cm.) high
Provenance
Joseph Neeld Esq., Grittleton House, Wiltshire, 1851
Christie's, The Grittleton Marbles, 22 September 1966, Lot 12
Literature
J. Kenworthy-Browne, Marbles from a Victorian Fantasy, Country Life, CXC, 22 September 1966, pp. 708-12, fig. 4
R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, London, 1851, pp. 32-6
B. Read, Victorian Sculpture, London, 1982, fig. 172, pp. 140-2
Exhibited
London, Royal Academy, 1851, no. 1265

Lot Essay

Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867) was Flaxman's favoured pupil and worked with Flaxman for seven years. During this time he was awarded medals for his work. He joined the Royal Academy Schools in 1808, and again was awarded their silver medal in 1809. In 1811 he won their gold medal for his group of Hercules Restoring Alcestis to Admetus. In 1817 Baily became the chief modeller to the firm of gold and silversmiths Rundell and Bridge, and for the next 25 years designed a large series of works for them. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1810 to 1862 and at the British Institute from 1812 to 1840.
The present marble figure relates to Baily's Rundell and Bridge years. Joseph Neeld, who commissioned The Tired Hunter, inherited nearly a million pounds from his great-uncle Philip Rundell of Rundell and Bridge, in 1828. Within two years Neeld had acquired the Manor of Grittleton, which he subsequently had rebuilt by James Thompson. Neeld installed a collection of sculpture in the house, and each piece was incorporated as an important element in the general architectural scheme. The Grittleton Collection of sculpture was paralleled probably only by the contemporary Sculpture Gallery at Chatsworth.
Neeld commissioned some of his collection directly from contemporary sculptors, others he acquired from collections, and besides the ideal figures in marble it also included busts and works after the Antique. Neeld became Baily's best patron commissioning works from him over a period of 40 years. Of the ideal figures Neeld commissioned four marbles from Baily, the Nymph preparing for the Bath of 1845, The Three Graces of 1849, The Tired Hunter of 1851 and the Adam and Eve of 1853. While visiting Gibson's studio in Rome, Neeld commissioned from him the celebrated Venus Verticordia of 1833, and also from Papworth The Nymph Surprised of 1856. Other works which he acquired from collections for Grittleton were by Siever, Gott, Bienaimé, Wyatt, Tadolini and Monti, thus representing in one collection many of the best sculptors of the day..
The Tired Hunter was commissioned in 1848 and completed in 1851. It was exhibited that year at the Royal Academy under the title of 'A Youth and his Dog' (no. 1265) and a plaster cast of it was included in the Great Exhibition of 1851. The figure was met with great acclaim, the plaster being awarded a bronze medal, and the jurors of the Great Exhibition further praising Baily's mastery of the ideal in sculpture and claiming that he was its greatest practitioner in England. Baily treated mythological themes frequently and, though known as The Tired Hunter, it is possible that the figure represents Adonis or Mealeager. Baily has clearly absorbed the Neo-Classical style from his master, Flaxman, and the theme and pose of his group are drawn from Ancient prototypes. However, tis Classical vocabulary is tempered by romantic overtones and softened in its contours. There is little of Canova's vigorous types, but rather a sensuous sense of nostalgia more suited and typical of Northern Europe. It is easy to understand the Great Exhibition jurors' praise of Baily, for The Tired Hunter stands as a work of consummate skill both technically and in composition and style. The treatment of the cloth of the cloak transforms the marble into lush folds of material, and the dog reveals Baily's ability to capture animals with masterly skill and detail. The Tired Hunter stood in Grittleton until the sale of the Grittleton Marbles in these Rooms on 22 September 1966. It benefits thus from a state of preservation in which all the loving details and the smooth planes of marble maintain their original splendour. The Tired Hunter is an exquisite and major example of English sculpture of the middle of the 19th century.
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