Sir Alfred Gilbert RA (1854-1934)

Alfred Gilbert.

An important sculptor, born in London. He trained under J. E. Boehm, and then continued his studies in France and Italy, where he remained for some years developing his own personal style. He became ARA in 1887, at a time when under Leighton, himself a sculptor of repute, sculptors were in vogue - another one, E. Onslow Ford, became ARA the following year, and Hamo Thornycroft became RA also in that year. Gilbert was elected RA in 1892, and was Professor of Sculpture at the Academy from 1900-1905. This generation were the New Sculptors, and among them, Gilbert was a leading light. Further, much of his work around the turn of the century is rich in art nouveau detail. He was also a goldsmith of great merit.

Gilbert's most well-known work is the Eros in Piccadilly Circus. He also made the Fawcett Memorial in Westminster Abbey. Others of his works include Comedy and Tragedy (1892), a Perseus Arming (a small version of the bronze, 1881, is at Cartwright Hall, Bradford), and an Icarus which became the possession of Lord Leighton. A very important work is his Joule at Manchester Town Hall. An excellent and over-the-top Chimneypiece with many small figures is in Leeds.

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