Description & Technical information

Drawn on two sheets of paper cut out by the artist and laid down onto a slightly larger sheet.
Squared for transfer in pencil, and with framing lines in pencil.

This is a preparatory study, with several differences, for one of Charles Sargeant Jagger’s earliest significant works; a bronze bas-relief of Cathal and the Woodfolk produced in 1914 while he was a student at the Royal College of Art. The relief was shown at the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy in May 1914, shortly before the sculptor won the Rome prize. A cast of Cathal and the Woodfolk is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, while another bronze cast of the relief is today in a private collection. A terracotta version of the composition was purchased directly from Jagger in March 1914 by Calouste Gulbenkian and is now in the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, while two plaster versions are known; one from the collection of the British School in Rome that was sold at auction in 1987, and the other, which Jagger gave to his teacher at the Royal College of Art, Edouard Lanteri, that was sold at auction in 1992.
In one of the first articles devoted to the young sculptor’s work, published in The Studio in 1914, the critic I. G. McAllister noted in particular the bronze relief of Cathal and the Woodfolk: ‘Bacchanalian subjects have an attraction for Mr. Jagger, as giving plenty of scope for the imaginative faculty with which he is well endowed…His Cathal and the Woodfolk exhibited this year at Burlington House, though classical in treatment, has the unique quality of being very much alive; in fact the whole work is instinct with life and movement to a degree that is particularly noticeable. One is struck by the variety of types, nor will the naturally expressed action of the young girl on the right, with the unconventional treatment of the pose of the arm and hand, be overlooked. Another thing which occurs to one’s notice is the perfect modelling of the smallest detail, the sure outcome of a well-disciplined power of observation, and a very sound technical training. Very expressive are the feet and hands of each separate figure in the group. One is irresistibly reminded of youth and joie de vivrein this piece of work.’

Period:  20th century
Origin:  UK
Medium: Pencil, Red and white chalk, Touches of gouache
Provenance: The artist’s son, Cedric Jagger
The Fine Art Society, London, in 1988
Private collection.

Literature: Maria Rosa Figueiredo, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. European Sculpture, Vol.II, Lisbon, 1999, p.116, under no.24; Ann Compton, The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger, Much Hadham and Aldershot, 2004, p.109, under no.15.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints