Lord Frederick Leighton (British, 1830-1896) A bronze figure of 'The Sluggard',  52cm high (20in high).

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Lot 53
Lord Frederick Leighton
(British, 1830-1896)
A bronze figure of 'The Sluggard', 52cm high (20in high).

Sold for £ 20,250 (US$ 27,913) inc. premium
Lord Frederick Leighton (British, 1830-1896)
A bronze figure of 'The Sluggard', the nude male stretching, on canted square base, inscribed THE SLUGGARD, and signed Fred Leighton, and with inscribed foundry marks, FOUNDED BY J. W. SINGER & SONS, FROME SOMERSET, 52cm high (20in high).

Footnotes

  • Although perhaps better known as a fashionable Royal Academy painter of the late 19th century, Leighton took up sculpture in the 1870's and today is regarded as the father of New Sculpture in England. Leighton's Sluggard, also known as 'Athlete Awakening from Sleeping', was first executed in 1882. Giuseppe Valona, the Italian model who posed for 'An Athlete Struggling with a Python', was again used for the Sluggard. Edgcumbe Staley described the moment when: 'Giuseppe Valona, the model, a man of fine proportions, weary one day of posing in the studio, threw himself back, stretched out his arms and gave a great yawn. Leighton saw the whole performance and fixed it roughly in clay straight off.'

    A more refined life-size plaster was later exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1886 and was awarded a medal of honour when it was shown at the Paris Exposition Universelle three years later. A bronze cast of this plaster, acquired by Henry Tate in 1896, is now in the Tate Gallery.

    The Sluggard has obvious parallels with Rodin's 'Age of Bronze', exhibited in 1884 and it was perhaps this work which encouraged Leighton to revive his earlier model. The work later became one of the most popular Victorian statuettes when reduced-scale bronze editions were made by Arthur Leslie Collie and cast by the Singer Foundry.

    Literature
    S. Beattie, p.189 and 260, n.59; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, cat. no.39
    S. Jones, C. Newall, et al., Frederic, Lord Leighton: Eminent Victorian Artist, Royal Academy of Arts, 1996
Contacts
Lord Frederick Leighton (British, 1830-1896) A bronze figure of 'The Sluggard',  52cm high (20in high).
Lord Frederick Leighton (British, 1830-1896) A bronze figure of 'The Sluggard',  52cm high (20in high).
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