Arnold Machin

St John the Baptist

c.1944

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Terracotta
Dimensions
Object: 521 x 311 x 292 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1944
Reference
N05444

Display caption

Machin studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London during the Second World War and was later elected to the Royal Academy. He developed a classical style and is best known for his relief portrait of the Queen which featured on stamps and coins from 1968 to 1984. This sculpture shows John the Baptist as a boy at prayer. His delicate physique is counterbalanced by his strong and direct gaze. Machin was imprisoned in 1944 as a conscientious objector. Themes of vulnerability and spiritual salvation may have meant as much to him as they did to wider society in a global war.

Gallery label, September 2016

Catalogue entry

N05444 ST JOHN THE BAPTIST c. 1944

Not inscribed.
Terracotta, 20 1/2×12 1/4×11 1/2 (52×31×29).
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1944.

[no further details]

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