George Wyndham thumbnail 1
George Wyndham thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 21, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

George Wyndham

Bust
1904 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Rodin had visited England in 1881 at the invitation of the French painter and etcher, Alphonse Legros and this marked the start of a very successful career in England where he met a number of London's leading personalities. George Wyndham (1863-1913) had a distinguished military career, was also a writer, and was widely admired for his elegance. He was Secretary of State for War and then Chief Secretary for Ireland 1900-1905. Rodin was introduced to him by the poet and critic William E. Henley, friend of the sculptor John Tweed, one of his most stalwart supporters in England.
In 1901 Rodin is known to have shown Wyndham around his studio and in 1902 George Wyndham presided over the banquet at the Café Royal in London to celebrate the presentation of the cast of St John the Baptist to V&A. Later, in 1912, Rodin appealed to Wyndham to support the way he wished The Burghers of Calais to be displayed in London.

For this bust, Rodin was to go to Ireland, but in the end it was Wyndham who went to Meudon. Sittings began in 1804 and were greatly enjoyed by Wyndham who wrote to his sister, 'We have run over the whole Universe lightly but deeply'. When Wyndham saw the finished plaster, he was delighted and remarked: 'It is indeed a portrait, one of the most striking. It is so true and living that looking at the throat one expects to see the bust swallow. But it is more than that, a lot more. It is a man at 40 years of age…in mid career, with his regrets, his worries, his force, his hopes, his dash'.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Bust, bronze, 'George Wyndham' by Auguste Rodin, French, 1904
Physical Description
Bust of George Wyndham, inscribed twice on the back.
Dimensions
  • Height: 450mm
  • Width: 800mm
  • Weight: 42kg
  • Depth: 600mm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'A. Rodin' (1) Signature; On the sitter's left shoulder)
  • 'Alexis Rudier/Fondeur Paris' (Inscription; decoration; On the back of the right shoulder)
Gallery Label
Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1900 to 1905, Wyndham was also a writer, soldier and staunch supporter of Rodin's work in Britain. In 1902 he presided over a banquet at the Café Royal given in honour of Rodin. The portrait was a great success, and Wyndham enjoyed the sittings, saying, 'We have run over the whole Universe lightly but deeply'.(March 2007)
Credit line
Given by the artist
Subject depicted
Summary
Rodin had visited England in 1881 at the invitation of the French painter and etcher, Alphonse Legros and this marked the start of a very successful career in England where he met a number of London's leading personalities. George Wyndham (1863-1913) had a distinguished military career, was also a writer, and was widely admired for his elegance. He was Secretary of State for War and then Chief Secretary for Ireland 1900-1905. Rodin was introduced to him by the poet and critic William E. Henley, friend of the sculptor John Tweed, one of his most stalwart supporters in England.

In 1901 Rodin is known to have shown Wyndham around his studio and in 1902 George Wyndham presided over the banquet at the Café Royal in London to celebrate the presentation of the cast of St John the Baptist to V&A. Later, in 1912, Rodin appealed to Wyndham to support the way he wished The Burghers of Calais to be displayed in London.



For this bust, Rodin was to go to Ireland, but in the end it was Wyndham who went to Meudon. Sittings began in 1804 and were greatly enjoyed by Wyndham who wrote to his sister, 'We have run over the whole Universe lightly but deeply'. When Wyndham saw the finished plaster, he was delighted and remarked: 'It is indeed a portrait, one of the most striking. It is so true and living that looking at the throat one expects to see the bust swallow. But it is more than that, a lot more. It is a man at 40 years of age…in mid career, with his regrets, his worries, his force, his hopes, his dash'.
Bibliographic References
  • Newton, J. Rodin is a British Institution. Burlington Magazine.December 1994, CXXXVI, p. 824, fig. 40
  • Hawkins, Jennifer, Rodin SculpturesLondon: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1975, pp.27-8, ill.27
  • Catalogue of Sculpture by Auguste Rodin.London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1925. pp. 18-19
  • Newton, Joy. William Eernest Henley and the Launching of Rodin's Career. In: Mitchell, Claudine. ed. Rodin: The Zola of Sculpture. Henry Moore Institute, 2003. pp. 59-72. ill. 3.4.
  • Mitchell, Claudine. The Gift to the British Nation: Rodin at the V&A. In: Mitchell, Claudine. ed.Rodin: The Zola of Sculpture. Henry Moore Institute, 2003. pp. 183-200.
  • Alley, R. Tate Gallery Catalogue: Foreign Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. London, 1959. pp. 220-221.
  • Antoinette, Le Normand-Romain. The Bronzes of Rodin: Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin. London : Lund Humphries ; Paris : Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2007. pp. 714-715.
  • Lampert, Catherine, Rodin, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 2006
Collection
Accession Number
A.47-1914

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record createdNovember 26, 2002
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