About this object

The artists creating the ‘New Sculpture’ aspired to create poetic realism in their work. However, this became weakened under a deluge of commissions for rather conventional busts and monuments. Opportunities to work on religious subject matter, so rich in potential for the sculptor to include expression and meaning in a piece, were rare.

This bust - or sculpture of a head - shows one of the two thieves crucified alongside Christ. It powerfully demonstrates the sculptor’s ability to manipulate and model surfaces with deep furrows and high, sharp ridges in order to produce a face of great power and poignancy. The expressive vigour of modelling and emotional realism of this piece make it closer to the work of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917) than anything else exhibited by Wood during this period. Wood was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1918, the year in which he created this bust.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Francis Derwent Wood (British: English, born:1871-10-15, died:1926-02-19)
  • Date
  • Materials
  • Measurements
    object/sculpture: 36 cm
  • Physical description
    Bronze bust of a man leaning to his left. He looks down, and his mouth is open. There is a dark green colour on the surface of the metal.
  • Related people
    Florence Derwent Wood (née Schmidt) (Previous owner) ; Francis Derwent Wood (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    Accession Number: LL 729; Out of Use Accession Number: LS 13
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Lady Lever Art Gallery by the artist's widow in 1945
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections


Previous owners


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: DERWENT WOOD, 1918
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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