Alfred Gilbert

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Sir Alfred Gilbert by John McLure Hamilton, 1887.

Sir Alfred Gilbert (London, 1854 - London, 1934) was an English sculptor, mainly in metal, of romantic figure subjects and portraits, and ornamental designer in the Art Nouveau style. He studied at Heatherley's School from 1872, at the R.A. Schools (Royal Academy of Arts) and under Boehm.[1] Gilbert studied also in Paris (Ecole des Beaux-Arts, under Jules Cavelier), and in Rome and Florence. Gilbert was an important member of the New Sculpture movement (Britain - nineteenth century). In 1887, he was elected ARA (Associate Member of the Royal Academy). Gilbert is considered one of the mos important sculptors of the Victorian era.

Gilbert's most well-known work is the Statue of Eros (Anteros), 1893 in Piccadilly Circus, London. Also important and famous are: The Queen Alexandra Memorial (knighted for this work ) between 1926 and 1934, situated opposite St. James's Palace on Marlborough Road, and the Statue of Queen Victoria in the Great Hall of the Winchester Castle (his first important commission), 1887. Some other works include: The Mother and Child, The Kiss of Victory, Perseus Arming (1883), Icarus (which was exhibited at the Royal Academy) 1884, The Enchanted Chair, Memorial to the Duke of Clarence, Memorial Candelabrum to Lord Arthur Russell, Memorial Font to the son of the 4th Marquess of Bath, Fawcett Memorial in Westminster Abbey, the Joule at Manchester Town Hall, and Comedy and Tragedy at Tate, and at Victoria and Albert Museum (two versions), (1892). Grace, fancy and imagination are the main characteristics of all Gilbert's work.

Gilbert revelled in jewel-like decorative details. [2] He was exceptionally inventive in his use of materials, ranging from ivory and copper through semi-precious stones, to silver and gold. He also pioneered the use of cast aluminium and worked on adapting Japanese bronze casting techniques to achieve polychromatic effects. [3]

The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, depicting Anteros (Greek mythology (Ἀντέρως, Antérōs) was the god of the requited love) as "the Angel of Christian Charity", but actually referred to as the Statue of Eros (Anteros's brother), is one of the first statues in the world to be cast in aluminium.

In 1932, Alfred Gilbert was re-elected at the R.A. (Royal Academy of Arts) and knighted the same year.

Statue of Eros (Anteros), 1893.
Comedy and Tragedy, ca. 1890–2, Tate.
Statue of Queen Victoria in the Great Hall, Winchester Castle, 1887.

Alfred Gilbert, Queen Alexandra Memorial.jpg

Queen Alexandra Memorial, between 1926 and 1934.

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