ALFRED DRURY (1856-1944), A PAIR OF BRONZE FEMALE FIGURES OF DRAMA AND LITERATURE
Modelled as opposing forms, one holding a mask emblematic of theatre and the dramatic arts, inscribed 'A Drury 08', 25cm high, the other a book possibly emblematic of literature and a wreath, inscribed 'A Drury', both on green marble bases
The Private Collection of Sir David and Lady Scholey
(Edward) Alfred Briscoe Drury was part of the New Sculpture Movement opposing the prevailing 'frozen' neoclassical style of sculpture with naturalistic realism. Training at the Oxford School of Art and the National Art Training School (now the Royal Academy), Drury then learnt from the French Masters including Dalou in Paris before returning to England in 1885 when he first exhibited at the Royal Academy. Drury was commissioned to make numerous public works including the figure of Prince Albert above the Main Entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum, circa 1909 and allegorical bronzes for Vauxhall Bridge, London in 1905. In 1901 Spielmann wrote in British Sculpture and the Sculptors of Today 'Drury is among the most personal of our sculptors, always in search of the graceful, the tender, the placid and the harmonious'. To date these figures would seem to be unrecorded in Drury's raisonné. Some of his work, such as a set of terracotta spandrels for a coachmaker in Hammersmith, have been lost or destroyed. It is possible that this pair, a common thematic approach in his work with opposing female figures emblematic of virtues or the arts, were for a commission now lost.
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