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Sculpture The Singer by Edward Onslow Ford at Tate Britain

March 30, 2016

This sculpture by Edward Onslow Ford, exhibited at Tate Britain, depicts a singer and her instrument.  The sculpture was first exhibited in 1889 and is made of bronze, coloured resin paste and semi-precious stones.  The Tate’s description of the work is below.

The Singer describes a Western fantasy of the East; the trance-like pose expresses a myth of ancient societies more in touch with beauty and mysticism.  The unusual bronze technique, incorporating imitation jewels and enamels, enhances the decorative effect.  As the figure pulls back the strings of the instrument and sings she appeals to our sense of hearing as well as sight.  Henry Tate bought this sculpture from Ford for 700 guineas, a large sum.  It and Frederic Leighton’s Sluggard 1885 were the only sculptures included in his foundation gift in 1897.

Presented by Sir Henry Tate in 1894.

The sculpture is completely surrounded by glass, which makes it a bit difficult to photograph.

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Barry Mitchell 30 March 2016.


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