Alfred Drury

Griselda

1896

Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 533 x 483 x 254 mm. Weight 34kg (approx)
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1896
Reference
N01757

Display caption

This portrait in bronze reflects Drury’s skill in its lively modelling of the face, and is a new working of Italian Renaissance traditions. It is titled Griselda after the heroine of the Decameron (1358), a story of faithful love by the Italian author Boccaccio. The costume and the way that the bust length is cut straight across are all indebted to Renaissance sculpture. The cherub on the base is a symbol of Griselda’s hidden love. Drury was a pupil of the French sculptor Dalou, who taught at the South Kensington Schools in London in the 1870s. In the 1880s Drury went to Paris to work with Dalou.

Gallery label, February 2010

Catalogue entry

N01757 GRISELDA 1896
 
Inscr. ‘A. Drury 1896’ b.r.
Bronze, 21×19×10 (53×48×25).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1896.
Exh: R.A., 1896 (1836).
Lit: E. T. Cook, A Popular Handbook to the Tate Gallery, 1898, p.279; M. H. Spielmann, British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-day, 1901, p.114, repr. p.113.
Repr: Royal Academy Pictures, 1896, p.83.

Griselda is the heroine of one of Boccaccio's stories, Decameron, Day X, novel 10. A poor country girl, she was chosen by the Marquis of Saluzzo to be his wife, but in order to try her patience he removed her children and sent her back to her father's cottage for many years before finally reinstating her. The cherub on the base is a symbol of her hidden love.

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