Emilio Greco

Large Seated Figure


Not on display

Emilio Greco 1913–1995
Original title
Grande figura seduta
Object: 1321 × 406 × 635 mm
Purchased 1955

Display caption

Greco grew up in a Sicilian peasant family and worked for a local stonemason, helping to make copies of ancient sculptures, before training as an artist. In the 1950s, he began to make sculptures of female nudes, often in unusual poses. The sitting position of this figure, and the hand seeming to sink into its arm, are typically unorthodox touches.The figure was originally modelled in terracotta, then cast in bronze four years later.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Emilio Greco born 1913 [- 1995]

T00014 Large Seated Figure 1951

Inscribed 'EMILIO GRECO - ROMA 1955' on under-side of right leg
Bronze, 52 1/8 x 15 3/4 x 24 (132.5 x 40 x 61)
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1955
Repr: Fortunato Bellonzi, Emilio Greco (Rome 1962), pl.12; Edward Lucie-Smith, Movements in Art since 1945 (London 1969), pl.174; Leonardo Sciascia, Emilio Greco (Rome 1971), p.35 in colour (another cast, with a different patina)

Though this is inscribed 1955, the year of its casting, Greco says that it was made from a terracotta executed in 1951 and should be dated that year. It has been cast in an edition of three bronzes. A smaller version 35.5cm high, also made in 1951, served as a study for this work and is known as 'Small Seated Figure'.

These sculptures were preceded by another 'Seated Figure' made in 1949, 84cm high, which is very similar in pose but has a different head.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.335-6, reproduced p.335


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