Details & Cataloguing

Modern & Post-War British Art


Michael Ayrton
height: 89cm.; 35in.
Conceived in 1954, the present work is from the edition of 9.
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Acquired directly from the Artist by a Private Collection, Australia
Keith Chapman Modern Sculpture, London, where acquired by the present owners in 2012


Bruton, Bruton Gallery, Michael Ayrton Work of the 1950s, 18th May - 15th June 1974, cat. no.3, illustrated (another cast).


Peter Cannon-Brookes, Michael Ayrton, An Illustrated Commentary, City Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 1978, cat. no.103, illustrated p.59 (another cast).

Catalogue Note

Ayrton explored the theme of the shepherd in a series of works in 1951 including a large oil (Manchester City Art Gallery), which depicts two contemporary shepherds, one youthful and one elderly, each carrying a sheep, fully clothed and depicted in front of farm buildings. In the present bronze, executed three years later, Ayrton has stripped the subject of any modern reference, the head is shorn and the figure wears only thin cloth trousers. The work with its contrapposto pose and focus on the underlying musculature directly references the ancient Greek statue the Moschoforos (Calf-bearer) (Acropolis Museum, Athens).

Modern & Post-War British Art