Dance – Edward Onslow Ford

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Dance – Edward Onslow Ford


Antiques Reference 2265

Dance by Edward Onlsow Ford


A finely sculpted figure of a semi naked female illustrating the graceful movement and joy of Dance. The beautifully detailed and hand finished detail of this charming bronze figure is enhanced by the rich brown and light brown patina. The movement of her swirling skirt shows the elegance and grace of the figure. Signed in the bronze Onslow Ford . A life size version of this figure is in the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight.  A charming and elegant piece showing Victorian Sculpture at its best and an excellent example of the New Sculpture Movement .


Edward Onslow Ford (1852 – 1901)

The sculptor Edward Onslow Ford was born in Islington, North London, and initially studied painting on the Continent, where he worked under Buffeau in Antwerp, and under Wagmuller in Munich who encouraged him to become a sculptor.  He returned to London in 1874 with his new wife Anne Gwendoline von Kreuzer,and became a portrait sculptor. He received several commissions for public statues -including Henry Irving as Hamlet for the Guildhall, Gladstone for the Liberal Club and Queen Victoria for Manchester together with memorial sculpture – the Shelley Memorial for University College Oxford, the Jowett Memorial for Balliol College Oxford and a plaque to Ruskin in Westminster Abbey.

Among his portrait busts are Queen Victoria, Balfour, and a range of fellow artists – Alma Tadema, Millais, Herkomer, W. Q. Orchardson, Arthur Hacker, Ridley Corbet, Briton Riviere, and the French artist Dagnan-Bouveret. Busts of Millais and the actor Henry Irving are at the National Portrait Gallery, and busts of General Gordon (1892), and Ruskin of 1900, are in Westminster Abbey. Also in London, Onslow Ford made the the busts for the facade of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours building in Piccadilly (1881/2). Onslow Ford fell under the influence of Alfred Gilbert, and became one of the central figures of the New Sculpture Movement.

Onslow Ford’s The Singer (1889) was one of only two sculptural works among Henry Tate’s original gift to the nation. Also in the Tate Gallery is Folly (1886), which was bought through the Chantrey Bequest and also exists in versions in the Ashmolean Museum and at Port Sunlight. Other work at Port Sunlight includes the marble Snowdrift and the bronze Dancing. Peace is (1887) in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

As one of the leading men of the New sculpture movement, Onslow Ford had considerable influence on other sculptors, and among his assistants and those who studied in his studio were Andrea Lucchesi and Frank Bowcher, the medallist.

Date c 1891

Condition Excellent original condition.

Dimensions Approximate 35 cm

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