Description & Technical information

George Simonds is a rare sculptor. His works seldom come onto the market, the last being his Goddess Gerd, sold Sotheby's 10 December 2004, lot 198, which represents a Norse deity associated with light. George Simonds was passionate about bronze casting. In 1886, as the first President of the Art Workers Guild, he made an appeal to his fellow sculptors for them to cast their own bronzes, making a vehement criticism of edition bronzes produced in commercial foundries which he described as ‘cabinet bronzes’ as opposed to ‘autograph bronzes’. Simonds is also remembered as the sculptor of the famous large statue in Central Park, New York of The Falconer. 

The present bronze, inscribed Wax 1st proof, is emblematic of the sculptor's concern for creating high quality lost wax casts. Representing Perseus, the present bronze recalls Alfred Gilbert's canonical model of the same subject conceived in 1881, of which a cast is in the Tate Britain (inv. no. N0482). Like in Gilbert's model, the subject has an elaborate winged helmet, but Simonds' Perseus strides forth confidently carrying the shrouded head of Medusa, in contrast to Gilbert's introspective hero. The present bronze retains its beautiful original chocolate-brown patina.

Signature: Inscribed ‘Wax 1st proof’ and with the artist’s monogram.
Dimensions: 55 cm (21⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: Provenance:
Private Collection, England, possibly by descent from the artist from the artist
Literature: Literature:
Exhibitions: Exhibited:
Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Autumn exhibition of modern pictures in oil and water-colours: the twenty-third, 1893, no. 1220
Categories: Sculpture