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THE HARRISON COLLECTION PART II - PROPERTY FROM CROFT HOUSE, HELENSBURGH

Alfred Gilbert
BRITISH
COMEDY AND TRAGEDY
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313

THE HARRISON COLLECTION PART II - PROPERTY FROM CROFT HOUSE, HELENSBURGH

Alfred Gilbert
BRITISH
COMEDY AND TRAGEDY
前往

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Alfred Gilbert
1854 - 1934
BRITISH
COMEDY AND TRAGEDY
with an illegible label to the underside and another label inscribed: R.
bronze, dark brown patina, on a verde antico marble base
bronze: 33cm., 13in.
base: 5cm., 2in.
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來源

The Fine Art Society, London;
Acquired by Major Ion Harrison from the above on the 25 March 1926 for £82-10 shillings

相關資料

Alfred Gilbert described Comedy and Tragedy as 'the climax to my cycle of stories,' of which Perseus Arming and Icarus were the earlier chapters. This last classical parable forms one of the sculptor's most complex and academic compositions. The pose, reflecting its subject, is wholly artificial, and requires the viewer to continually shift perspectives in order to gain a complete view of the sculpture. Head facing downwards, arms engaged in the opposite direction and with one foot off the ground, it is reminiscent of Mannerist sculpture, in particular Giambologna's Apollo, whilst also giving a nod to Frederic Leighton's 1886 composition, Needless Alarms.

The inspiration for Gilbert's composition lay in the revival of a one-act play at London's Lyceum theatre entitled Comedy and Tragedy, written by his namesake W. S. Gilbert and starring his friend, the American actress Mary Anderson. Night after night the sculptor would view the play. Describing the genesis of his sculpture, Gilbert later wrote, 'I conceived the notion of harking back to the Greek stage upon which masks were always worn, and I conceived a stage property boy rushing away in great glee with his comedy mask, and on the way being stung by a bee... The youth seen from one position through the open mouth of the comic mask exhibits hilarity, but from the opposite side he is seen glancing at his wounded leg, and his expression assumes one of pain and sadness.' It is in this dichotomy, the comedic grin of the actor's mask and the anguish of his real facial expression, that lies the sculpture's biographical subtext. At the time he modelled Comedy and Tragedy, Gilbert led a dual existence, acting the successful artist by night, whilst, by day suffering from severe anxiety caused by professional, financial and domestic difficulties. Comedy and Tragedy has consequently come to be regarded as one of Gilbert's most poignant and complex works. 

RELATED LITERATURE
R. Dorment, Alfred Gilbert: Sculptor and Goldsmith, ex. cat., Royal Academy, London, 1986, pp. 116-118, nos. 22-24; R. Dorment, Alfred Gilbert, New Haven and London, 1985, pp. 131-134; I. McAllister, Alfred Gilbert, London, 1929, p. 88

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