Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Australian (1863-1931) A bronze figure of Diana Wounded
Lot 190
Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Australian (1863-1931)
A bronze figure of Diana Wounded
Sold for £ 15,000 (US$ 19,930) inc. premium

Lot Details
Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Australian (1863-1931)
A bronze figure of Diana Wounded
The nude figure raised on a naturalistic rocky base, dark brown patination, signed B. Mackennal 1905, raised on a later square wooden plinth, 37cm high (14.5" high)


  • Mackennal was born in Melbourne, the son of the Scottish sculptor John Simpson Mackennal who had emigrated to Australia. Having studied under his father he went on the School of Design at the Melbourne National Gallery until 1882. In 1883 he came to London and studied at the British Museum before being accepted at the Royal Academy. He was elected an associate there in 1909 after winning numerous important commissions. He also studied and worked in Paris under Rodin, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1892 and won an honourable mention in 1893 for his figure of Circe.
    Mackennal exhibited a statuette of Diana Wounded at the Royal Academy in 1906, followed by a larger plaster version the year after. In 1908 he produced a large marble version which was purchased by the Chantrey Bequest for the nation, and is now in the Tate Gallery. His marble group The Earth and the Elements was purchased for the National Gallery of British Art under the Chantry Bequest and in 1908 his full scale version of Salome was also bought for the nation.
    Mackennal went on to achieve great success on an international scale for his work and is now regarded as one of the most successful Australian artists of the late 19th century and as a key member of English New Sculpture movement. His numerous commissions both in Australia and England include various royal portraits, monuments such as Phoebus Driving the Horses of the Sun at Australia House, London, and memorials including the Cenotaph at Martin Place, Sydney and the Edward VII memorial, St George's Chapel, Windsor.

    Related Literature: ,Sir Alfred Gilbert & The New Sculpture, The Fine Art Society, p 78.
    S. Beattie, The New Sculpture, Yale University Press 1983.
    N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum 1540 to the Present Day, vol. III British, Oxford 1992, p119, n.538.

Saleroom notices

  • Provenance: Formerly the property of the Anglo Italian bronze founder Frederick Mancini who is known to have been active in England by the 1890s before setting up in business on his own in 1911. Thence by family decent to the present vendor. Footnote: It is possible that the lot was actually cast by Mancini who was known to have cast for many New Art Sculptors including Alfred Gilbert and that this lot kept by him as a sample or was alternatively gifted to him by the sculptor as he is known to have been active England by the 1890's before setting up his own business in 1911. Additional Information: See National Portrait Gallery online research resources. British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980 - M - see below: Frederick Mancini, 416 Fulham Road, London 1911-1920, bronze founder (also Frederick Mancini & Son 1932, Frederick Mancini 1933-1934, 17a Maxwell Road, Fulham, art bronze founder) Frederico Mancini (c.1866-1943) was in England by the late 1890s. He worked at the Fonderia Nelli in Rome and then for Alexander Parlanti (qv), according to his son, Domenico (James 1986 p.25), before setting up independently in or before 1911. Frederico Mancini was described as a sculptor at 13 Meek St, Kensington, in 1901 when his daughter Dorothy was christened. In the 1911 census Mancini was recorded at 416 Fulham Road as a bronze worker, age 45, born in Italy, with his wife and six children, who included Domenico, age 14, born in Italy, and Eve, age 12, born in London, suggesting that the family moved to England c.1897-9. He was recorded in business as a founder at 416 Fulham Road in the Post Office London directory from 1912, where he followed Guglielmo Cuccioli & Co, bronze founders, a business first listed in 1909. [Guglielmo Cuccioli (b.1870) was apparently an Italian anarchist and wax moulder.] From 1921 the foundry was taken over by Mario Manenti (see below). Mancini died in 1943, age 77, in the Halifax district. Frederick Mancini, whether the father or his son (see below), exhibited a work at the Royal Academy from an address in Cheltenham in 1926. He seems to have moved there to work for the founders, H.H. Martyn & Co, introducing the lost wax process; however, he 'did not stay long', according to the recollections of a member of Martyn's foundry team (John Whitaker, The Best: A History of H.H.Martyn and Co., 1996, pp.99, 105). Three of Mancini's sons were active in related businesses, Domenico ('Mac') Mancini (1897-1976) as a sculptors' moulder, George (1904-89) as a founder and Frederick (1905-90) as a sculptor. George trained as an apprentice with Ercole Parlanti (qv) (Parlanti 2010 p.34) and set up his own foundry in Edinburgh in the 1930s. In later life, he was employed as a consultant by the firm, Charles Henshaw & Sons, Edinburgh, to supervise repair work on Alfred Gilbert's Eros (see Timothy Bidwell, 'The Restoration of Eros', in Dorment 1986 p.39). He taught bronze casting to Gerald Laing. For Domenico Mancini, see below. Works in bronze: Little is known of Frederick Mancini's foundry work but for Alfred Gilbert's figures of saints, 1926-7, for the Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor (see Dorment 1985 p.313).
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