Elizabeth Frink’s life-size figures of men often suggest the interdependence of their heroic success and savage failure. Her Dying King is an image of Shakespeare’s Richard III defeated in battle.
As a type of fallen hero, this sculpture relates to a series of figures crashing down out of the sky which Frink began in the 1950s. She made these sculptures directly out of plaster, adding to an armature (a metal framework) and then cutting material away. In this way she could quickly made and alter shapes. This body looks emaciated and wounded, devastated by its fall to the ground.