Griselda - bronze by Alfred Drury RA

Griselda - bronze by Alfred Drury RA




Signed: A DRURY
Bronze, on green marble base

27 cm., 10 ½ in. high

Born in Islington, London, Drury was raised in Oxford where his father owned and inn. He attended Oxford School of Art and then the National Art Training School, South Kensington (1877-1881) where he was taught by F W Moody and then by the French sculptor Jules Dalou. Between 1881-5 Drury worked in Paris with Dalou and on his return to London he worked briefly as an assistant to Sir Edgar Boehm. He was a key artist of the New Sculpture movement and during his long career he completed many architectural groups and figure pieces. His major commissions for architectural and monumental works including groups for Leeds City Square, the front of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Vauxhall Bridge and the War Office Building, Whitehall.

Griselda is the heroine of the Decameron (1358), a story of faithful love by the Italian author Boccaccio. A poor country girl, she was chosen by the Marquis of Aluzzo to be his wife, but in order to try her patience he set her various tests and trials, removing her children and sending her back to her father’s cottage for many years before finally reinstating her. The costume and the way the bust is cut straight across are all indebted to Renaissance sculpture. Drury’s large version of Griselda was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1896 (no.1836) and is now in the collection of the Tate Gallery, London. Drury made three different versions of Griselda.