Kenneth Armitage

Sibyl III


Not on display

Kenneth Armitage 1916–2002
Object: 1029 × 622 × 311 mm
Purchased 1962

Catalogue entry

T00518 SIBYL III 1961
Inscr. ‘K.A. II’ and stamped ‘H. Noack Berlin’ on lower back.
Bronze, 40 1/2×24 1/2×12 1/4 (103×62×31).
Purchased from the Marlborough New London Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1962.
Exh: Paul Rosenberg, New York, March 1962 (18, repr.) as ‘Sibyl (3rd version)’; Marlborough New London Gallery, May 1962 (19, repr.).

This dates from the period when the sculptor was working on a project for the central facade of the Château Mouton Rothschild, near Bordeaux, where the composition consists of a large gilt form with projecting flanges, and faces the vineyard. The artist wrote in the New London Gallery catalogue: ‘I saw many years ago a curious fungus in the form of flat horizontal shelves growing out in clusters from the tree trunk, which for some reason were exciting and which I had always wanted to incorporate in my work if the right opportunity came along. The idea seemed appropriate here.... The earliest of the 16 maquettes sported bunches of these flanges, but later they were much reduced in number. This form then worked itself out in Monitors, Prophets, and Sibyls, Sculpture 105, and Whistle, growing into a beak-like shape in the more recent work.’ He told the compiler that ‘Sibyl III’ is the only form in which the flanges come right round the figure. The cast is one of an edition of six.

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

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