39
39
Frederic, Lord Leighton
BRITISH
THE SLUGGARD
Estimate
18,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 47,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
39
Frederic, Lord Leighton
BRITISH
THE SLUGGARD
Estimate
18,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 47,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Erotic: Passion & Desire

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London

Frederic, Lord Leighton
1830-1896
BRITISH
THE SLUGGARD
signed: Fred LEighton and entitled: THE SLUGGARD and inscribed: PUBLISHED BY ARTHUR LESLIE COLLIE / 39B OLD BOND STREET / MAY IST 1890. and: FOUNDED BY J. W. SINGER & SONS / FROME SOMERSET.
bronze, warm brown patina
54cm., 21¼in. 
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Catalogue Note

The Sluggard is one of the iconic masterpieces of 19th-century British sculpture. Its languid pose captures the essence of male beauty and is the epitome of the masculine ideal. Leighton's Sluggard was first exhibited as a clay sketch at the Royal Academy in 1886 and was conceived as the pendant to the artist's earlier masterpiece, An Athlete struggling with a Python, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1877. The Sluggard was originally entitled Athlete awakening from sleeping and was inspired by the languid stretching of Leighton's muscular male model Giuseppe Valona after a long sitting. Leighton rapidly captured the pose in clay and thus created one of the masterpieces of Victorian sculpture, which has been described as 'a symbol of the art of sculpture, liberated by Leighton, flexing itself for renewed activity after a long time in the shackles of convention' (Benedict Read, Apollo, op. cit., p. 68). The bronze editions were produced by Arthur Leslie Collie and cast by Singer. Casts which bear both the Collie and Singer inscriptions, such as the present, very fine, bronze, are believed to date to circa 1896-1900. According to Nicholas Penny, later casts are only inscribed with the founder's name.

RELATED LITERATURE
N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum: 1540 to the Present Day, vol. iii, Oxford, 1992, p. 114, no. 533; B. Read, 'Leighton as a sculptor: Releasing sculpture from convention,' Apollo, February 1996, pp. 65-69

Erotic: Passion & Desire

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London