Not currently on display at the V&A

Leda and the Swan

Relief
19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This is a wax model made by R. C Lucas in the 19th century England. This model represents a group in low relief of Leda and the Swan.

Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883) is mainly known as a sculptor in wax and ivory, but he also worked in glass, marble and bronze, as well as being a painter. Lucas began his career as a sculptor as an apprentice to his uncle, who worked as a cutler in Winchester, carving knife handles. He joined the Royal Academy Schools in 1828 and studied under Richard Westmacott. Lucas made two models of the Parthenon, in its original state and after the explosion of 1687, which were acquired by the British Museum. He is best known for his small scale works including wax sculptures and ivory carvings. Lucas was at the centre of a controversy about the bust of Flora in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin. The bust was thought to be an authentic work by Leonardo da Vinci but the sculptor's son Albert Dürer Lucas claimed in the Burlington Magazine that the bust was modelled by his father. It is now generally thought that the bust is probably by Leonardo or his circle but was repaired by Lucas. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1829 and 1859 and showed ivory carvings and imitation bronzes at the Great Exhibition in 1851.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Wax in low relief
Brief description
Relief, model in wax, Leda and the swan, by Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883), English, 19th century
Physical description
Group in low relief of Leda and the Swan.
Dimensions
  • Height: 21.59cm
  • Width: 16.51cm
Credit line
Given by R. C. Lucas
Object history
Given by R.C. Lucas in 1865.
Production
Copy of an ancient bronze in the British Museum.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a wax model made by R. C Lucas in the 19th century England. This model represents a group in low relief of Leda and the Swan.



Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883) is mainly known as a sculptor in wax and ivory, but he also worked in glass, marble and bronze, as well as being a painter. Lucas began his career as a sculptor as an apprentice to his uncle, who worked as a cutler in Winchester, carving knife handles. He joined the Royal Academy Schools in 1828 and studied under Richard Westmacott. Lucas made two models of the Parthenon, in its original state and after the explosion of 1687, which were acquired by the British Museum. He is best known for his small scale works including wax sculptures and ivory carvings. Lucas was at the centre of a controversy about the bust of Flora in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin. The bust was thought to be an authentic work by Leonardo da Vinci but the sculptor's son Albert Dürer Lucas claimed in the Burlington Magazine that the bust was modelled by his father. It is now generally thought that the bust is probably by Leonardo or his circle but was repaired by Lucas. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1829 and 1859 and showed ivory carvings and imitation bronzes at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

Bibliographic references
  • Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1865. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol. 1. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 45
  • Cf. Bloch, P. Die Bildwerke der Skulpturengalerie Berlin. 3. Bildwerke 1780-1910. Berlin, 1990, no. 81, pp. 163-164
Collection
Accession number
176-1865

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Record createdFebruary 5, 2004
Record URL
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