Catalogue entry

N01928 THE SPRINGTIDE OF LIFE 1903
 
Inscr. ‘Colton 1903’ on top of plinth, at back on right.
Serravezza marble on a separate base of Siena marble, 53 1/2×25×24 (136×64×61) excluding base.
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1903.
Exh: R.A., 1903 (1880).
Lit: W. T. Whitley, ‘W. Robert Colton, A.R.A.’ in Art Journal, 1911, p.178, repr. p.180; A. L. Baldry, ‘Modern British Sculptors: W. Robert Colton, A.R.A.’ in Studio, LXVI, 1915, p.96, repr. p.94.
Repr: Royal Academy Pictures, 1903, p.94.

A plaster version of this group was exhibited at the R.A., 1902 (1724), repr. Royal Academy Pictures, 1902, p.179. The sculptor's daughter (Mrs Kerr, letter of 9 December 1956) recalled that this was always one of his most popular works. The models were two little girls, one of whom was transformed into a little boy in the finished work. The allusion is that the two children are playing by the seashore, the elder and more responsible of the two gently restraining her younger brother, who is balanced on a rock entranced by the waves.

A bronze version (27 in. high) was exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, 1906 (878), and again at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1929.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I