John Henry Foley (1818-74), R. A.
Source: 1851 Art Journal
“The subject of "Innocence" has long been a favourite one among modern sculptors, of other countries as well as of our own; we can, therefore, scarcely expect to see much novelty in any treatment of it in the present day, nor is it one which really admits of it. To render it generally acceptable it is necessary only that the grace — one of heaven's sweetest and best—should be exemplified in the "form and features" of its possessor; and this Mr. Foley's statue indubitably reveals. "Innocence" is always symbolised under the type of a young girl, (and we are not so ungallant as to question the propriety of the adjudication;) the sculptor here has placed a dove, the scriptural representative of the virtue, in her bosom, where she is fondly caressing the bird. The figure is semi-nude; it is effectively supported by the drapery below in a manner to give elegance to the upper part of the person. The head and face are charmingly indicative of the sentiment intended to bo conveyed, while the limbs and body are admirably modelled. The work is one of simple elegance; it is of life-size, and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1848.”
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