Reg Butler



Not on display

Reg Butler 1913–1981
Bronze on wooden base
Object: 544 × 185 × 135 mm
Purchased 1959

Catalogue entry

T00262 OPHELIA 1955
Not inscribed.
Bronze, 20 1/2×4 1/2×4 (52×12×10).
Purchased from the Executors of E. C. Gregory (Grant-in-Aid) 1959.
Coll: Presented to E. C. Gregory by the artist.
Exh: British Council, Young British Sculptors, Scandinavia, 1956–7 (14).

The artist wrote (23 June 1959): ‘the sculpture “Ophelia” from Mr Gregory's Collection is a unique work, a shell bronze master, related to but not identical with the series variously known as “Ophelia A” and “Ophelia II” of which an edition of eight has been cast by Susse Frères in Paris. It is related to a larger work, in fact the “Woman” 1957/58 illustrations Nos. 6 and 7 in the Matisse catalogue.’ ‘Ophelia II’ (opus 141; bronze, 21 3/4 in. high) was exhibited at the Hanover Gallery, May–June 1957 (23, repr.), and, as ‘Ophelia A’, at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, February 1959 (9, repr.). The large ‘Woman’ (opus 159; bronze, 69 in. high) was also in the Pierre Matisse exhibition (19).

‘Ophelia I’ (opus 140; bronze, 20 1/4 in. high) is a similar figure but with folded arms; it was exhibited at the Hanover Gallery, May–June 1957 (22, repr.). The artist also made a lithograph entitled ‘Ophelia’ in 1954. He wrote (15 December 1959) that the opus numbers relate primarily to sculptures which were available for casting. Hence Nos.T00262 and T00263 are not numbered.

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


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