T00167 CHARITY 1877
Inscr. ‘Alfred Gilbert Jan. 1877’ on back below.
Terracotta, 12 7/8×3 3/4×3 1/2 (33×9·5×9).
Presented by the Fine Art Society 1958.
The two figures T00167 and T00168 are very early examples of Gilbert's work done in Paris before he left for Rome in the autumn of 1878. They were found in the Fine Art Society's storerooms after a fire which occurred on 19 October 1957 and there is no record of their previous history nor any mention in the literature on Gilbert. McAllister, 1929, p.54, quotes an unspecified writer who visited the artist in Rome: ‘I found in Mr Gilbert's studio a terracotta design for a tomb, which could not fail to attract attention. A classical sarcophagus-shaped tomb, with a single figure sitting upon it.’ The two figures may have been connected with this or another project for a tomb. Bury, 1952, p.76, mentions under ‘Works mostly unknown’, done in Paris, a sketch for a monument to Byron, 1877, and a sketch for a monument to Gordon Gilbert, 1878. The mourning angel may be compared with the crouching angel, later used at the head of the monument to the Duke of Clarence in St George's Chapel, Windsor. The sketch or working model for this is reproduced in exh. cat., V. & A., autumn, 1936, pl.6.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I