David Wynne (1926-2014)
David Wynne (1926-2014)
David Wynne (1926-2014)
David Wynne, R.A. (1926-2014)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
David Wynne (1926-2014)

Boy with a Dolphin

Details
David Wynne (1926-2014)
Boy with a Dolphin
signed, dated and numbered 'DAVID WYNNE 5/6/1973’ (at the base of the tail)
bronze with a green/brown patina
48 in. (122 cm.) long
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner's grandparents, and by descent.
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

'If Londoners chosen at random were asked to name their favourite among the pieces of public sculpture adorning their city, many would cite the remarkable statue which sits just on the bend of the River Thames by Albert Bridge - David Wynne’s work, Boy with a Dolphin' (D. Elliot, Boy with a Dolphin: The Life and Work of David Wynne, London, 2010, p. 9).

David Wynne was a self-taught artist who established his studio on Campden Hill, Holland Park in the early 1950s. He is recognised for his portraits of Her Majesty the Queen, Guy the Gorilla, Cresta Rider (the 6ft iconic sculpture in Saint Moritz, a maquette of which was sold in these Rooms, 14 July 2011 for £109,250, a world record for the artist at auction), and his most important royal project: the central section of the Queen Elizabeth gate installed at Hyde Park Corner in commemoration of the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday in 1990. However, the most iconic and monumental of Wynne’s sculptures is undoubtedly the graceful Boy with a Dolphin (1975) which is situated on the Chelsea side of Albert Bridge.

Wynne’s famous Boy with a Dolphin has come to be recognised as one of London’s landmarks. It was first unveiled in October 1975, and the concept follows an earlier sculpture, Girl with a Dolphin which can be found outside the Guoman Tower Hotel near St Katherine’s Dock. Boy with a Dolphin is a remarkable sculpture and is one of the most complex that the artist ever achieved; the structure projects into the air in an apparent defiance of gravity. There are three casts of the largest version of this sculpture; Albert Bridge; Chestnut Place Plaza, Worcester, Massachusetts; and outside the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The present sculpture is from the second largest cast of Boy with a Dolphin that Wynne created.

Wynne’s passion for celebrating the living form is epitomised in the strong, beautiful sweeping form of Boy with a Dolphin. The artist had a great belief in celebrating living creatures, having studied Zoology at Cambridge. Wynne's 'love of drawing animals and birds was all-consuming. He remembers constantly observing what he saw around him, seized with a growing conviction that his future life’s work would somehow be involved with the natural world' (ibid., p. 15). Wynne did not believe that a photograph sufficed for his recreations of naturalistic forms and indeed whilst working on Boy with a Dolphin he spent hours under water watching the animal’s movements. The boy featured in the artwork was modelled upon Wynne's son, Roland, who was 9 years old at the time; Wynne recalls his thoughts in swimming with dolphins: ‘Dolphins would actually give one a ride as in the sculpture. Often I thought what fun it would be in the open sea, particularly for a boy such as my younger Roland, who would be light enough to be towed long distances. Thus the idea was born’ (ibid., p. 83).

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