Castles in the Air

LL 55


The girl is reading some fairy stories, but the ‘castles in the air' described in the book are real to her vivid imagination. Thus they appear above and beneath her throne with silver and precious materials used to give them a dream-like effect. The pedestal and throne isolate the girl from reality, and place her in the world of fancy and thought. Here the concern of the so-called New Sculpture movement for poetry and the ideal, rather than for the everyday world, is given an almost literal emphasis. 'Castles in the Air' followed in the wake of the artist's early experiments with polychrome techniques. Referring both to 'Castles in the Air' and another important work by Reynolds-Stephens entitled 'Love's Coronet', the art critic WK West recognised the artist's ornamental and decorative approach, his use of unusual and varied materials, but also his ability to create a carefully conceived and visually diverse experience.