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Diana

Gilbert Bayes, 1929 about

LL 709

About this object

This bronze statue of the Roman Goddess, Diana, is by the British sculptor, Gilbert Bayes. Diana was the Roman goddess of hunting, the moon, chastity and childbirth.

Lord Lever’s son, the second Lord Leverhulme, purchased the sculpture from the artist. He presented it to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in memory of his friend, the architect, Segar Segar-Owen. He helped to design the Gallery.

Diana has been a popular subject for artists throughout history. Diana represented the protection of chastity, purity and married love. She attracted a group of devoted female followers who hunted with her and vowed to remain virgins, like the goddess herself. She protected her nymph-followers from intrusion by men, creating a secluded and self-sufficient all-female community. Her image was therefore often used in art as moral inspiration for women. Domestic objects and paintings in women's bed chambers portrayed Diana and her all-female companions as exemplary models.

In this sculpture, Diana is represented as a strong, free, capable huntress, holding her bow and walking the world without fear. It is images such as this that have made Diana such an iconic figure to feminist and lesbian women wanting to live independently of men, or in all-female communities. Women like queen Christina of Sweden, known for her lesbian affairs, styled themselves on Diana and groups of women have gathered together under her name since ancient times.

More information about the life and work of Gilbert Bayes can be found on the website of The Gilbert Bayes Trust.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Gilbert William Bayes (British: English, born:1872-04-04, died:1953-07-10)
  • Date
    1929 about
  • Materials
    Bronze
  • Measurements
    object/sculpture: 72.5 cm
  • Physical description
    Bronze statue of a young woman holding a bow.
  • Related people
    Gilbert William Bayes (Artist/maker) ; William Hulme Lever (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    Accession Number: LL 709; Out of Use Accession Number: LS 9
  • Credit line
    Presented by the second Viscount Leverhulme in 1931
  • Location
    Lady Lever Art Gallery, Room 02
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections

Ownership

Previous owners

  • William Hulme Lever

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase from the artist
    Owned until: 1931
    Disposal method: Presented to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 1931

Inscriptions

Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: Gilbert Bayes and Diana, goddess of the chase
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Base
  • Inscription text: DIANA / BY GILBERT BAYES / PRESENTED BY VISCOUNT LEVERHULME / APRIL 1931 IN MEMORY OF HIS FRIEND / SEGAR SEGAR-OWEN, F.R.I.B.A. / (BORN 1874, DIED 1929) ARCHITECT OF / THE LADY LEVER ART GALLERY AND/OF CHRIST CHURCH PORT SUNLIGHT
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Socle
Object view = Fine Art
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LGBT collections

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