Sculpture: Individual Sculptors

Figure 1.--This sculpture is in homor of Sir Humphrey Chetham (1580-1653) and is located in Manchester Cathedral. The Sculptor is William Theed. It was done in 1853. Chetham was a wealthy Manchester textile merchant. He was forced to become General Treasurer of Lancashire (1643). This was during the Civil War era. Because of his age, he found this difficult. He also began to accumulate debts because of his poition. He helped set up a hospital / blue coat school for forty poor boys. Concerned that when he died that Parliament would seize his estate and stop supporing the school. He established a trust to support the school in erpetuity. He also help establish Chetham's Hospital and then Chetham's School of Music. Additional funds helped estalish Chetham's Library, which included money to pay for the books. Additional libraries after his death were were constructed with this money. The statue base shows one of the blue coat boys from his school. We can see his uniform, hair style, cap, and books. Photograph courtesy of William Ferguson.

We do not have much information about sculpturers, but have begun to archive details on some sculturers who have created important works depicting boys. Of course the names of very few ancient scultors are known. Only with the Renaissance re names commonly known. François Rude was a French Romantic sculptor. Here we have a close-up image showing the 'Little Neapolitan Fisherboy', one of his most famous sculptures. It is now in the Louvre Museum. We note a work by Robert Jackson (1840-78) who did a marble sculpture of a kilt-clad Scotish boy. The famed American sculturer Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) did the Shaw memorial depicting black soldiers in the American Civil War, including drummer boys. Do let HBC know if you know of any other interesting sculptures.

Ugo Guidi (Italy, 1912-77)

We note a bas-relief sculpture by Ugo Guidi (1912-77) showing a rural scene (1930s). We have been unable to find much biographical information on Guido or his work. His age, however, meant tht while he grew up under Fascism, only a small part of his working career was during the Fascist era. The bas-relief is a good example of Fascist art. e see similar German sculpture and some similar New Deal sculpture in Americans. Some New Dealers were impressed with Mussolini and Italian Fascism. Fascist art liked to glorify workers, espcially rural workers who were seen as more a part of the nation ethos than industrial workers who were contaminated with left-wing ideology. Italy's Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, was in sharp contrast to Hitler, personally uninteresred in art. He was interested in propaganda. The clothing worn by the older boy and the man seems accurate. On the contrary, a woman with bare shoulders doesn't seem realistic. The nakedness of the younger boy can be both symbolic as well as an acurate depictio of rural Italy.

Robert Jackson (Scotland, 1840-78)

Robert Jackson (1840-78) did a charming sculpture of a Scottish boy that is now in the Victorian and Albert Museum. The boy is wearing highland dress. He is the honourable Alexander Campbell. Alexander was born in 1855. He was was the son of the Earl of Cawdor. It was sculptured in London signed and dated 1872. One question we have is how commonly Scottish boys wore kilts in the 19th century. This work, however, does not help us much. We know that aristocratic and other affluent Scottish boys wore kilts. We are less sure about ordinary Scottish boys.

Micelangelo (Italy, 1501-04)

One of the most famous sculptures of all time is Micelangelo's masterful 'David'. The work does not provide much in the way of fashion information, but it does speal volumes about the Renaissace and history of art. The Biblical David was a popular subject of Renaissance artists. The standard way of depicting him was after his great victory over the great Philistine warrior Goliath. Both Verrochio and Donatello depicted David standing over Goliath's severed head. Michelangelo decided to do his David differently. He sculpted David before the climatic confrontation. Thereare various interpretationjs of this great work. David is depoicted as tense. It is not his body tht is tenses, but more of a mental sense. Once has tonlook carefully to see the csling shor slung over his shoulder. Michelangelo almost certainly included to make the point that it was not brawn, but the yioung David's intelligenc that brough victory. Another scholar believes that Micelkangelp meant to depict the exact instant that he made the decesin to do bttle with the imposing Goliath.

Auguste Rodin (France, 1840-1917)

Perhaps the greatest modern sculptor is Auguste Rodin. His mater work is 'The Thinker'. He does not, however, provide us much information on clothing as he commonly did his subjects in the nude to depict the human form. Like other great artists, he employed assistants. One of these assistants was a young mn named Camile Claude who he hired (1885). A torrid affair followed which continued for several years.

François Rude (France, 1784-1855)

Here we have a close-up image showing the "Little Neapolitan Fisherboy" a famous sculpture by François Rude, now in Louvre Museum. François Rude was a French Romantic sculptor. He was born in Dijon in 1784. He was a supported of Napoleon Bonaparte and this admiration was evident in his work. He won the "Prix de Rome" in 1812, but could not study there because of the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon's defeat in 1815, Rude went into exile in Brussels. He returned to Paris in 1827. He presented the "Little Neapolitan Fisherboy" (Petit pêcheur napolitain) in the Paris artistic salon that took place in 1833 regaining his notoriety as a sculptor of public monuments. He died in Paris in 1855. The fisherboy wear only the cap and a necklace. His nudity is a romantic theme, but it can be historically correct.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (America, 1848-1907)

The famed American sculturer Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) did the Shaw memorial depicting black soldiers in the American Civil War, including drummer boys. The Robert Gould Shaw memorial to Black Civil War soldiers is one of Saint Gaudens major works. Robert Gould Shaw (1837-63) was born into a staunch Boston abolitionist family. He was a captain in the 2nd Massachusetts. Because of his family background, Massachusetts Governor John Andrew made Shaw a colonel and ordered him to raise and command the first regiment of black troops organized by any Northern state. This was made possible after Liincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

William Theed (England, 1804-91)

William Theed is also known as William Theed, the younger. He is described as versatile and eclectic in his choice works, including both nythology nd history. He worked in both brone and marble and received many commissions from the Royal Family. His specialty was portraiture. William was born in Trentham, Staffordshire. (1804). His father was sculptor and painter William Theed the elder (1764–1817). We knownothig about his childhood. He was trained as a boy by his father. He worked for several years in the studio of EH Baily the sculptor, perhaps beginning as an aprentce. He was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools (1820). He continued his studies in Rome (1826). There he studied under Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and Italian Pietro Tenerani, as well as John Gibson and Richard James Wyatt. He remaine in Rome 20 years, workig in marble creating statues and busts. His patrons included the Duke of Lucca and the Prince and Princess of Capua. He returned to England after obtining a commission from Prince Albert (1844-45). He had John Gibson (a close friend of Theed) to submit designs for statues to be placed in Osborne House. Designs by Theed were accepted. There weremarbles (Narcissus at the Fountain and Psyche Lamenting the Loss of Cupid) and a bronze of Sir Isaac Newton. Theed returned to London (1848). He established a highly successful practice. He ave married Mary and had a son Edward, both listed in the 1881 census. He displayed three pieces at the Great Exhibition (1851). Particularly impressive was a marble of The Prodigal's Return. The work hereof Sir Humprey Chetham with a blue coat scholar ws done for Manchester Cathedral (1853). He did additional works for Pribe Albert, used in Buckingham Palace. A notable work of the Royal Family was a series of twelve bas-reliefs illustrating scenes from Tudor history. They wre bronzes made for the Prince's chamber in the Palace of Westminster. Of historical interest is doublr portrait sculpture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They are depicted in Anglo-Saxon Dress at the suggestion of Victoria, the Crown Princess of Prussia (the Princess Royal, eldest daugter Victoria and Albert). The sculpture was meant to symbolise the ties between the German and English peoples from Anglo-Saxon times to the marriage of Victoria and Albert. This might have been the course of European histoy as the Princess royal married the liberal Prussian Crown Prince Frederich. Thus was not to be the course of history. Federich dies within months of becoming kaiser. And their son Wilhelm with a very different outlook became kaidser as Wilhelm II.

Antonio Ugo (Italy, 1870-1956)

The photo shows the statue "The Balilla" by the Italian sculptor and medalist Antonio Ugo (1870-1956). He was born and grew up in Palermo. The statue is placed in an important square of Palermo, near the Politeama Theater. It is a tribute to the Balillas and to the "Wheat battle" (Battaglia del grano). The Wheat battle was a campaign that the Fascist regime started in 1925 to increase wheat yield. The "Opera Nazionale Balilla" was established in 1926. The statue shows a boy wearing the fez, shorts and t-shirt. He is holding a sickle. With his bare feet and his smile, this Balilla is an image of the simple and healthy life of the Fascist propaganda.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main sculpture page]
[Return to the Main art page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 2:58 PM 1/19/2007
Last updated: 8:28 PM 1/14/2018