F. Derwent Wood

[title not known]


Not on display

F. Derwent Wood 1871–1926
Object: 235 × 110 × 120 mm
Presented by Mrs Derwent Wood 1946

Display caption

These eight maquettes (small preparatory models) were made for a statue of the eighteenth-century artist, Sir Joshua Reynolds, for the courtyard of Royal Academy’s home, Burlington House, in London’s Piccadilly. Only two sculptors, Derwent Wood and Alfred Drury, were invited to submit proposals. These studies by Wood show Reynolds in various poses, invariably holding a palette and painting brush, the tools of his profession.

In the end the commission was given to Alfred Drury. The statue was put in place in 1931 and still stands outside the Royal Academy.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry


Presented by Mrs Derwent Wood 1946.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, April–May 1926 (31–8); Works by the late Sir Hamo Thornycroft, R.A., and F. Derwent Wood, R.A., R.A., winter 1927 (19, 20, 21, 29, 35, 38, 43 and 46); Exhibition of Paintings by S. Isabel Dacre, Etchings by Francis Dodd, A.R.A., Statuary, Paintings and Drawings by F. Derwent Wood, R.A., Manchester, November 1927-January 1928 (195–202), as ‘Eight Sketches for a proposed Monument to Sir Joshua Reynolds’.
The studies are listed [N05647-N05654] in what seems to be a possible order of development:

N05652 Not inscribed.
Bronze, 9 1/4×4 1/4×4 3/4 (23·5×11×12).

A seated figure, almost squatting. The right hand with the brush rests on the right knee, while the left hand holds the palette. The head is turned half right. The pedestal is rectangular in plan with two deep semicircular bows front and back.

According to the R.A. Reports for 1916–17 the Council of the Royal Academy decided 10 April 1916 upon the conditions of the competition for the proposed statue of Sir Joshua Reynolds to be put in the courtyard of Burlington House. Money for this was to come from the Leighton Fund, and two sculptor members, selected by ballot, were to be invited to submit models. Alfred Drury, R.A., and Derwent Wood, A.R.A. (as he then was), headed the poll. Drury submitted one model whilst Wood sent in two. The models were inspected by the Council on the 13 and 15 January 1917 and Drury was given the commission. Derwent Wood received 100 guineas. The scale of the models had to be 2 in.: 1 ft. and an estimate of the cost was also required by the Council. Drury's statue was not finished and put into place until 1931.

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

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