The Maid So Young (Childhood)
Sir William Goscombe John, 1860-1952
Gilt bronze and serpentine
The Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Wirral
The sculptor's model here was his own only daughter, Muriel (the name is sometimes given in the title of this work), then aged four years old (see "Childhood"). The rather solemn set of the features precludes mawkishness, the expression being exactly that of a little girl waiting to be released from her pose. The material contributes hugely to the final effect, making the work a comment both on this period of childhood, and on the sculptor's feelings about his precious child.
Photograph, caption, and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009.
Background digitally removed by Ruth M. Landow
[Courtesy of the Lady Lever Art Gallery]