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Details & Cataloguing

19th & 20th Century Sculpture

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London

Alexander Munro
1825 - 1871
BRITISH
THE SISTERS
signed and dated: ALEX MUNRO S. 1857
white marble
73 by 62cm., 28 3/4  by 24 3/8 in. 
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Provenance

Private Collection, UK, since at least 1965

Literature

A. Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their Work from its Foundation in 1769 to 1904, vol. 5, London 1906, p. 327, no. 1309;
I. Roscoe, E. Hardy and M.G. Sullivan, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851, New Haven and London, 2009, p. 863

Catalogue Note

The Scottish sculptor Alexander Munro was born in Inverness and his youthful talent was encouraged by the headmaster of his school. His first patron was Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, who brought him to the attention of the architect Charles Barry. Barry in turn introduced him to John Thomas and Munro travelled to London to work with Thomas on the new Houses of Parliament. He subsequently took up studies at the Royal Academy schools where he became friends with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had a lasting impression on his work. 

A marble group titled The Sisters is listed by Roscoe (op. cit., as 'untraced') and Graves (op. cit) as having been exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1857. With the dating on the present marble, it is most probably the present lot, making this an important rediscovery of a documented work by Munro. Quiet piety and sisterly love seem to emanate from the group, which is heightened by the smooth marble and the quality of the carving. 

19th & 20th Century Sculpture

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London