LL 714


Linus was the personification of the dirge, a somber song or lament expressing mourning or grief. One version of the myth has him as the son of the god Apollo and the mortal Psamathe. Psamathe abandoned the baby Linus at birth on a mountain, but he was found and raised by shepherds. However, he was eventually torn to pieces by his own dogs. In another version, he was the son of the musician Amphimarus and became a great musician himself. His subsequent rivalry with Apollo ultimately resulted in his death, therefore his figure frequently appears on neo-classical tombs. Lever was great friends with the sculptor Edward Onslow Ford. Ford encouraged Lever to buy New Sculpture with its experimental use of materials and poetic subjects. Today, Lady Lever Art Gallery has the finest collection of New Sculpture outside London. This was Ford's first 'ideal' work and also the beginning of a remarkable sequence of sculptures culminating in 'Snowdrift' (LL 47), which was exhibited posthumously. The Lady Lever Art Gallery therefore possesses Ford's first and last 'ideal' sculptures. Lever originally displayed 'Linus' and 'Dancing' (LL 714 & LL 716) in the garden of his London house, The Hill at Hampstead. When the gallery was finished in 1922, Lever had them moved to Port Sunlight and displayed the pieces outside the south entrance of the gallery.