The Slingshot. Sir William Reid Dick, RA 1878-1961. Bronze with black patina on green marble plinth. Overall height: 13 1/2 inches; bronze: 12 inches. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

The Slingshot, also known as The Catatpult, is a relatively early work; it was cast in two sizes. The large size version, 60 cm high, was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1911. Examples of this large size cast are rare with only one example recorded in a public collection, at the Bradford City Art Gallery, Cartwright Hall. The mood was also cast in a reduction measuring 33 cm high, of which the present piece is a good example."

"The mood proved a great success at the Academy for Reid Dick, attracting the attention ofthe critic Granville Fell who described it as a 'well-balanced, tense figure, precise in modeling'. Recalling the joy ofboybood, Reid Dick was very much influenced by two earlier major works of Lord Leighron, An Athlete Struggling with Python and The Sluggard. The tension of the former combines with the youthful twist ofthe latter ofLeighton's figures to produce a wonderful depiction ofthe agile tenderness of youth. The piece was first cast” by Italian founder Giovanni Galizia while he was working in the prominent Parlanti foundry at Parson's Green, London. The Parlanti foundry, active since the 1890s also cast work for Alfred Gilbert and Alfred Drury. Galizia continued to cast the work in London in partnersbip with Fiorini before setting up his own foundry. — Sir Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture, 26

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Robert Bowman and the Fine Art Society, London, have most generously given their permission to use information, images, and text from the catalogue named above in the Victorian Web. Copyright on text and images from their catalogues remains, of course, with them. [GPL]


Bowman, Robert. Sir Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture. London: The Fine Art Society, 2008.

Last modified 1 September 2003