Bayes (English) was the on of the painter and etcher Alfred Walter Bayes and brother of the painter Walter John Bayes. He was born in London and studied at the City and Guilds School in Finsbury for five years between 1891 and 1896. After winning a County Council Scholarship, Bayes entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1896 where he was taught and sponsored by three of the finest sculptors in the country: Thomas Brock, Harry Bates and George Frampton. Frampton was to be the major influence in Bayes’ early life and for many years thereafter, as the two became close friends until Frampton’s death in 1928.
In 1899 Bayes success at the Royal Academy Schools reached its pinnacle when he won the gold medal and a travelling scholarship, which enabled him to study extensively in France and Italy. After a year abroad Bayes returned to Loondon to set up his studio in West London. His first important commission came in 1911 when he was entrusted with designing the new Great Seal for King George V. Many more commis-sions followed throughout an illustrious career that saw him exhibit abroad and at the Royal Academy from 1905 to 1952.
Amongst the numerous awards bestowed upon him were the Gold Medal at the Paris Salon of 1939 and the Royal Society of British Sculptors’ Medal for the frieze on the Saville Theatre in 1931. To crown these achieve-ments, Bayes was elected president of the Royal Society of British Sculptors from 1939 to 1944.
Like Alfred Gilbert and Frampton, Bayes was interested in sculpture as applied decoration, and was experimental in the use of colour and mixed materials. He specialised in reliefs ans statuettes modeled on the antique or derived from folklore and biblical subjects. Some of his better known works include the Great Clock at Selfridge’s in Oxford Street, London; the bronze relief of Assurnazipal, King of Assyria in Sydney, Australia; the Offerings of Peace and Offerings of War, a pair of heroic equestrian statues that stand outside the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; and Play up! Play up! And Play the Game!, a relief at Lord’s
Cricket Ground in London (exhibited at the Royal Academy 1934)
Lord’s Cricket Ground, London – Portland stone panel 1934
Selfridge’s, London – Clock, bronze with Doulton stone-ware, 1930
Saville Theatre, London – stone frieze and roundels, 1930
Ashmoleon Museum – bronze 1910
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia – monumental bronze 1926
The Memorial Chapel, British War Cemetary, Jerusalem – bronze 1926
“Gilbert Bayes”, Louise Irvine & Paul Atterbury, illustration p. 124
“The New Sculpture”, Susan Beattie, p. 240
“Moden British Sculpture”, Royal Society of British Sculptors,
“British Sculpture and Sculptors of Today”, M.H. Spielmann, p. 143-144
“19th Century Romantic Bronzes”, Jeremy Cooper, p. 93-94
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