Sir Alfred Gilbert

The Broken Shrine


Not on display

Sir Alfred Gilbert 1854–1934
Object: 352 × 200 × 190 mm
Presented by Maurice Yorke 1938

Catalogue entry

N04977 THE BROKEN SHRINE c. 1900 (?)
Inscr. ‘The Broken Shrine, Alfred Gilbert. Six copies were made, this is the 3rd.’ on back.
Bronze, 14×8×7 (36×20×18), on green marble base, 3×10×10 1/4 (7·5×25·5×26).
Presented by Maurice Yorke 1938.
Lit: Art Journal, 1901, p.253, the plaster repr.; Bury, 1952, p.75.

An anonymous writer in the Art Journal describes the sketch as ‘a thing wrought in an hour or two, probably without thought of exhibition, without other aim than to express an idea, a mood of the moment’. He goes on to interpret the theme of a woman seated with two infants in her lap as follows: ‘The figure of the Virgin above has been despoiled, hence the weary, half sorrowful attitude of the wayfarer whose arms enfold sleeping babes. The shrine of divine womanhood is shattered.’

At the 9th Exhibition of the Surrey Art Circle (of which Gilbert was President) at the Clifford Gallery, June 1901, was exhibited ‘Sketch - The Broken Shrine’ (122). It is not known whether this was the plaster model or a bronze cast and this work may have been made some years earlier, at about the same time as T00167 and T00168.

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


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