Athlete Struggling with a Python
This sculpture is one of ten limited edition casts and was exhibited at the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition in 1910. Leighton often made small sculptures as models for his paintings. This, however, was his first large independent bronze group. Its vigorous modelling, varied surfaces and very naturalistic pose marked a decisive break with the enfeebled classicism still dominant in English sculpture of the time. The design and handling reveals Leighton's enthusiasm for contemporary French sculpture. The figure was much admired by a group of young British sculptors whose work was later to be called the 'New Sculpture'.