Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, British (1850-1925) A large bronze model of an archer Teucer
On a circular naturalistic base, dark brown patination, signed HAMO THORNYCROFT 1881 and numbered 38, 77cm high (30" high)
Related Literature: J. Cooper, Nineteenth Century Romantic Bronzes, David & Charles, London, 1975 page 66. B. Read, Victorian Sculpture, Yale University Press, 1982, page 292. Sir Alfred Gilbert & The New Sculpture Exhibition Catalogue, The Fine Art Society, illustrated on pages 106-107. Gibson to Gilbert British Sculpture 1840-1914, The Fine Art Society, 2nd June -2nd July 1992, page 55. Susan Beattie, The New Sculpture, Yale University Press, 1983, page 146.
Thornycroft studied Greek art at the British Museum and was admitted to the Royal Academy school in 1869, winning a gold medal in 1875. He became a pivotal member of the English New Sculpture movement, and arguably the first to attract universal acclaim for his work from both the established art world and from his fellow artists. His emphasis on the naturalistic qualities of the figure together with his initial refusal to reject the neo-classical style gave his work universal appeal. His figures of Artemis and Putting the Stone were exhibited at the Academy in 1880, heralding a revival in English sculpture. The following year he exhibited the plaster model of Teucer, and produced the first of the reductions in bronze, exhibited the large bronze version in 1882. Teucer continued the theme of athletic sport depicted in Putting the Stone and combined this with a classical subject as visible in Artemis. Although depicted in great naturalistic detail, the subject of Teucer is derived from a classical source, and depicts the great archer shooting an arrow at Hector as described in Homer's Iliad. Thornycroft used the same male model for both the present figure and the Mower, the Italian Orazio Cervi.