N05653 [from] EIGHT STUDIES FOR A STATUE OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS 1916 [N05647-N05654]
Presented by Mrs Derwent Wood 1946.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, April–May 1926 (31–8); Works by the late Sir Hamo Thornycroft, R.A., and F. Derwent Wood, R.A., R.A., winter 1927 (19, 20, 21, 29, 35, 38, 43 and 46); Exhibition of Paintings by S. Isabel Dacre, Etchings by Francis Dodd, A.R.A., Statuary, Paintings and Drawings by F. Derwent Wood, R.A., Manchester, November 1927-January 1928 (195–202), as ‘Eight Sketches for a proposed Monument to Sir Joshua Reynolds’.
The studies are listed [N05647-N05654] in what seems to be a possible order of development:
N05653 Not inscribed.
Bronze, 11 7/8×6 5/8×6 1/4 (30·25×16·75×15·75).
A swagger seated pose on a carved stool, the body is twisted sharply to left, with the arms and hands (brush in right hand, palette in left) held across the body. There is an elaborately escutcheoned base. This is the most ambitious sketch of them all and may have been the first to be made rather than one of the last.
According to the R.A. Reports for 1916–17 the Council of the Royal Academy decided 10 April 1916 upon the conditions of the competition for the proposed statue of Sir Joshua Reynolds to be put in the courtyard of Burlington House. Money for this was to come from the Leighton Fund, and two sculptor members, selected by ballot, were to be invited to submit models. Alfred Drury, R.A., and Derwent Wood, A.R.A. (as he then was), headed the poll. Drury submitted one model whilst Wood sent in two. The models were inspected by the Council on the 13 and 15 January 1917 and Drury was given the commission. Derwent Wood received 100 guineas. The scale of the models had to be 2 in.: 1 ft. and an estimate of the cost was also required by the Council. Drury's statue was not finished and put into place until 1931.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II