The Earl of Wemyss and March commissioned this sculpture in bronze to be placed outside his home, Gosford House in East Lothian, after it was rebuilt. Apart from his interest in field sports, and his career in politics, the Earl was also an amateur sculptor. He and his family were active patrons of modern art. In chosing Bates, he turned to one of the most advanced British sculptors, a former pupil of Dalou and Rodin. Bates, at the end of his short life, was interested in classical subjects, and this athlete echoes models by Michelangelo. It was studied from the life, and one of the Great Danes died while clamped into position.
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