Lynn Chadwick

Winged Figures


Not on display

Lynn Chadwick 1914–2003
Object: 559 × 432 × 356 mm
Purchased 1961

Display caption

Chadwick said that art is ‘the manifestation of some vital force coming from the dark, caught by the imagination and translated by the artist’s ability and skill’. Seemingly influenced by Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious, Chadwick saw the sources of art as essentially mysterious. The critic Herbert Read said that Chadwick’s sculptures were ‘symbolic icons’ retrieved from the depths of the human psyche.

The figures in this sculpture are hybrids, made up of bird, reptile, insect and human forms. The erotic overtones of the work complement its primal themes.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry


Inscr. ‘Chadwick 172 5/6’ on right thigh of the smaller figure.
Bronze, 22×17×14 (56×43×36).

Purchased from the artist through Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (Grant-in-Aid) 1961.
Repr: Herbert Read, Lynn Chadwick, 1960, pl.20 (the original model); exh. cat., Lynn Chadwick, Knoedler Galleries, New York, January 1961 (not numbered).

In 1955 the artist produced a number of variants on the theme of dancing figures. Two of these are reproduced in the Arts Council's catalogue of the artist's exhibition, June–July 1957, pls.2 and 3. These are without wings. The present group is a maquette for a later and larger composition of stationary figures now in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and is one of six casts. The others belong to the National Gallery of Scotland and to private collectors in Germany, Montreal and New York. The artist himself possesses the original model in iron and composition, reproduced by Herbert Read, loc. cit.; pl.21 in the same book shows the work in progress, in the form of an armature of wires.

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

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