September 20, 2019 9:06 am Published by

Gilbert (English) was born in London on August 12th 1854 and he died there on November 4th 1934. He studied at the Heatherley’s School from 1872, was a pupil of Boehm at the Royal Academy schools and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris (1875-78) and in Rome (1878-84).
He began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1882 and rapidly established a reputation, becoming A.R.A. (1887), R.A. (1892) and professor of sculpture at the Royal Academy schools (1900). He was made bankrupt in 1903, subsequently resigned from the Royal Academy and lived in self-imposed exile in Bruges, Belgium until 1926. He was re-admitted to the Royal Academy in 1932 and knighted the same year.
His best known work is the statue of Eros (1888), but he sculpted many other monuments and memorials in the London area and for the magnificent tomb of the Duke of Clarence at Windsor (in Mexican onyx, bronze, silver and ivory). He was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order in 1897.
Apart from his monumental works he produced numerous busts and genre statuettes, from The Kiss of Victory (1882) and Perseus Arming (1883) to Victory and the statuette of Comedy and Tragedy (National Gallery, Edinburgh).
Among his other small bronzes are the head of a fisherman of Capri, Icarus and portrait busts of Cyril Flower, G.F. Watts, Sir Henry Tate, Sir George Grove and Sir Richard Owen. He sculpted a number of figurines cast in gold or silver, including Victory, St. Michael, St. George, as well as memorial insignia, seals, fobs, chains and epergnes.

Literature: R. Dorment, “Alfred Gilbert Sculptor and Goldsmith”, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1968, pages 113- 114, cat. no. 19
Isabel McAllister, “Alfred Gilbert”, London, 1929, page 49
James Mackay, “Sculptors in Bronze, page 157

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