James Havard Thomas
Lycidas 1902–8

Artwork details

James Havard Thomas 1854–1921
Date 1902–8
Medium Bronze
Dimensions Object: 1613 x 832 x 521 mm
Acquisition Presented by Sir Michael and Lady Sadler through the Art Fund 1911
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1900

Display caption

Lycidas was the title of John Milton’s poem about the drowning of a young shepherd. Thomas shows him watching nymphs bathing in a stream. He modelled this life-size nude from his servant Antonio during the time he lived in southern Italy. The sculpture was sent to the Royal Academy for exhibition in 1905, but was rejected for appearing too ordinary and life-like. Following a public scandal, it was shown instead at the New Gallery. Lycidas was subsequently cast in bronze and presented to Tate by Michael Sadler, a well-known collector of modern art.

February 2016

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