'The Mower', William Thornycroft, c.1882-94
Bronze, Height 190.5cm
Accession Number WAG4136
This is probably the first important life-size statue of a manual labourer in Britain. It reflects the desire of the 'New Sculpture' artists to widen their repertory in the direction of naturalism and everyday life. The sculpture was itself inspired by seeing a mower at work on the riverbank during a Thames boating trip.
Despite this, the figure is also a carefully arranged composition, plainly inspired by the works of the great Renaissance sculptor Donatello.