Sir Alfred Gilbert, R. A. (1854-1934)
[Victorian Web Home —> Visual Arts —> Sculpture]
Born in London. 1872 passed examination of Royal College of Surgeons; attended Heatherley's School of Art while waiting to enter for scholarship to Middlesex Hospital. Failed Scholarship, continued art studies at Heatherley's. Entered R. A. Schools, worked as assistant to J. E. Boehm. 1875 went to Paris, entered école des Beaux Arts and studied under P. J. Cavelier for 3 years. 1878 moved to Rome, from there sent The Kiss of Victory to R.A., 1882; Perseus Arming to Grosvenor Gallery, 1882; and Icarus to R.A., 1884. On advice from Leighton returned to England, 1884. In 1887 completed Fawcett Memorial, also Queen Victoria Memorial, Winchester. Obtained commission for Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain (Eros) in Piccadilly Circus, unveiled 1893. Mayoral chain for Preston, 1888; John Howard Memorial, Bedford, 1894; Clarence Tomb, Windsor, 1892-8, completed l926; Whippingham Screen, 1896; Memorial to Lord Arthur Russell, Chenies, 1898. Appointed Professor of Sculpture at R.A., 1900. Declared bankrupt 1901 and in 1903 went to live in Bruges; resigned from R.A., 1908. Executed many statuettes often incorporated in large compositions, also goldsmith's work and medals.
An artistic leader who had enormous influence, he was unpractical about money and unhappy in his relationships with patrons. Returned to England 1926. Received commission for Alexandra Memorial, completed 1932. Resumed membership of R.A.
A.R.A. 1887, R.A. 1892, M.V.O. 1897, Knighted 1932. [British Sculpture 1850-1914, p. 24.]
- Comedy and Tragedy: "Sic Vita"
- The de Vesci Seal
- Edward the Confessor
- Edward King and Martyr
- Eliza Millard Macloghlin
- Faith, Hope, Charity
- The Kiss of Victory (two versions)
- Mr. and Mrs. Macloghlin
- Mors Janua Vitae
- Nina Cust
- An Offering to Hymen
- Perseus Arming (three versions)
- St. Catherine (The Miraculous Wedding) (two versions)
- Veiled Figure — possibly St. Catherine of Egypt
- St. Elizabeth of Hungary
- St. George
- St. George and the Dragon, Victory Leading
- St. Michael
- Study of a Head
- Study (Head of a Capri Fisherman)
- Queen Alexandra Memorial
- Queen Victoria
- The Virgin
- Victory (two versions)
Bas Reliefs and Medals
- Art Union Jubilee Medal [Queen Victoria]
- The Graham Memorial
- Post Equitem Sedet Atra
- The Resurrection of Christ
Beattie, Susan. The New Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.
British Sculpture 1850-1914. A loan exhibition of book and medals sponsored by The Victorian Society. London: Fine Art Society, 1968.
Bury, Adrian. Shadow of Eros: A Biographical and Critical Study of the Life and Works of Sir Alfred Gilbert, RA, MVO, DCL. London 1954.
Dorment, Richard. Alfred Gilbert. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.
Dorment, Richard. Alfred Gilbert Sculptor and Goldsmith. Exhibtion Catalogue. London 1986.
Dorment, Richard. Victorian High Renaissance. Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1978.
Joseph Hatton, The Life and Work of Alfred Gilbert RA, MVO, LLD. Easter Art Annual. London 1903.
Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.
Spielmann, M H. British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-Day. London, 1901.
Last modified 9 September 2006