Details & Cataloguing

A Living Legacy: Irish Art from the Collection of Brian P. Burns


Sava Bótzaris
1894 - 1965
signed, numbered and inscribed: Sava Botzaris FAS 3/8
height (excluding plinth): 51cm., 20in.
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Sotheby's, London, 13 May 2004, lot 31


London, Leicester Galleries, Sava Botzaris Exhibition of Sculpture, Drawings and Caricature, 1938, no.3 (original bronze);
London, The Fine Art Society, Sculpture in Britain Between the Wars, 10 June - 1 August 1986


M. Forrest, Art Bronzes, West Chester, 1988, p.399, no.9.36

Catalogue Note

The present work was cast in 1986 by the Fine Art Society in an edition of eight from the surviving original bronze. 

In a contemporary letter to Botzaris, G. B. Shaw observed that he was 'the only distinguished sculptor of my time who can boast that he has NOT made a bust of G.B.S.'. Fortunately, Shaw decided there was still need for one last sculpted portrait, but warned the artist, 'this must positively be the last, as I am getting too old to be presentable.' At around 80 years of age, Shaw may have lost his good looks but none of his wry sense of humour. As it is, the bronze that ensued, as seen here, is a lively and characterful representation of the celebrated writer. 

Born in Belgrade, Serbia, the son of the court painter to King Peter I of Serbia, Botzaris studied in Italy and France before settling in London in 1920. The original bronze of Shaw was exhibited at the Leicester Galleries in 1938 alongside a number of other famous literary and political figures by Botzaris that included James Joyce, Aldous Huxley and Haile Selassie. 

A Living Legacy: Irish Art from the Collection of Brian P. Burns