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Roundel - Back view of half-length female nude

Back view of half-length female nude

  • Object:

    Roundel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1863 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster

  • Museum number:

    A.16-1911

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is one of six roundels cast in plaster from sketches by Alfred Stevens (1817-1875) for carved walnut doors in Dorchester House, Park Lane. The walnut doors into which the panels are set are now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
On acquisition this group of sketch models was considered especially important as a record of the original working models produced by a sculptor. The plaster cast represent a stage in Steven's method of production: they include figure studies, designs for metalwork and ceilings, details of fireplaces, stoves, fenders, etc.

A sculptor, designer and painter, Alfred Stevens (1817/18-1875) rejected contemporary distinctions between fine art and design. From 1850 to 1857 he was chief designer to Hoole & Co., Sheffield, where he produced award-winning designs for metalwork, majolica, terracotta ornaments and chimney-pieces. Perhaps his two greatest works were the decorations for the dining-room at Dorchester House, London (about 1856), for which he made countless drawings inspired by the Italian High Renaissance style, in particular the work of Michelangelo and the monument to the Duke of Wellington for St Paul's Cathedral, London, which was completed after his death. The two allegorical groups from this monument made a lasting impact on the New Sculpture movement.
The influence of the Italian Renaissance is evident in much of Steven's work, and is perhaps best reflected in the Wellington monument.

Dorchester House was a stately mansion in Park Lane built in 1853 by Robert Stayner Holford, a wealthy landowner, art collector, and a Member of Parliament. Alfred Stevens designed and executed the fittings for Dorchester House between 1863 and 1865. The mansion was demolished in 1929.

Physical description

A half-length nude female figure in high relief, seen from the back. She turns her head towards the left and holds up a dish in her hands. A scarf extends from her left shoulder across her back to her right arm.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1863 (made)

Artist/maker

Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster

Dimensions

Diameter: 32 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Mrs Ada Gamble, 12 Stanlake Villas, Shepherd's Bush, London, together with a range of other objects by Stevens, for £175. Mrs Gamble was the widow of James Gamble, a pupil of Stevens, who had a large collection of designs and drawings by his former master.

Historical significance: On acquisition this group of sketch models was considered especially important as a record of the original working models produced by a sculptor. The plaster cast represent a stage in Steven's method of production: they include figure studies, designs for metalwork and ceilings, details of fireplaces, stoves, fenders, etc.

Historical context note

This is one of six roundels cast in plaster from sketches by Alfred Stevens for carved walnut doors in Dorchester House, Park Lane. The walnut doors into which the panels are set are now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Descriptive line

Roundel, plaster cast, nude female figure from back, from a sketch by Alfred Stevens, English, ca. 1863

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, pp. 394, 5, cat. no. 632
Review of the Principal Acquisitions during the year 1911, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, published under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, pp. 6-7
Handley-Read, Lavinia, British Sculpture: 1850-1914, London: E.C. Freeman, 1968.

Materials

Plaster

Subjects depicted

Nude female figure; Scarf

Categories

Reliefs; Sculpture; Architecture; Architectural fittings

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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