Sir Alfred Gilbert

Ignacy Jan Paderewski

1891

Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 600 x 319 x 193 mm, 30.8 kg
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1934
Reference
N04755

Display caption

This work depicts Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), a Polish pianist who was renowned for his dazzling technique and luxuriant head of hair. In 1918 he became Prime Minister of Poland. The bust was completed in two hours while Paderewski played the piano in Gilbert’s studio. The plaster was not cast into bronze until 1934, suggesting that Gilbert considered it unfinished. However, it has a sense of freedom not found in other contemporary portraits by Gilbert.

Gallery label, February 2010

Catalogue entry

N04755 IGNACY JAN PADEREWSKI c. 1900 (?)
 
Inscr. ‘Alfred Gilbert’ at back on base of neck.
Bronze, 23 3/4×11 1/2×10 1/2 (60×29×26·5), including bronze base, 6 (15).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1934.
Exh: R.A., 1934 (1595), as ‘Paderewski - Musician, Patriot, Statesman’.
Lit: McAllister, 1929, p.165; Bury, 1952, pp.55, 87, 88.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860–1941), Polish pianist and patriot, became first Prime Minister of Poland in 1918 and died in New York.

According to McAllister Gilbert used to listen to Paderewski perform at the house of Alma-Tadema. The exact date is not known but the bust was probably made before Gilbert's retirement to Bruges in 1906. A gilded plaster model for N04755 is in the Manchester City Art Gallery and is reproduced by Cox (1936, pl.3), who states that another bronze belonged to Lady Lewis (repr. McAllister, 1929, pl.38).

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

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