• The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Thorn - Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
Click image to enlarge

The Thorn

Arthur George Walker

(British, 1861 - 1936)

Bronze with dark brown and black patina
Height: 21 3/16" (53.6 cm)

Conceived and cast circa 1896


‘The Thorn, full of grace and charm, with as much elegance in the pose as in the action, is probably the most completely successful of Mr. Walker’s ideal statuettes’

H.M. Spielmann, British Sculpture and the Sculptors of Today, 1901, p.100

The present bronze shows a youthful female figure bending over with her right arm and fingers outstretched to reach the heel of her right foot, which is raised on a rock beneath her. Her gestures are elegant, and her mouth is slightly curved, displaying a sense of calm surprise or poised agitation.

Walker derived a great deal of inspiration from ancient Greek statuary for the definition and modelling of the present subject. In fact, the Boy with Thorn is one of the most famous Hellenistic bronze sculptures to have survived in multiple copies and variations to the present day. Walker here reinterprets the subject substituting the male figure with a female one, and changing the sitting composition of the Classical sculpture to a standing one.

Walker’s model was hailed by the critics as one of the sculptor’s greatest accomplishments. This view was shared by many of Walker’s own colleagues, as can be seen in Bertram Mackennal’s sculpture of Diana Wounded (c. 1907), currently part of the TATE Britain collection.

Walker first produced a large, 148cm tall version of the The Thorn around 1896, exhibiting it for the first time at the Royal Academy in 1903. The piece was purchased in 1910 by Carl Jacobsen, son of Jacob Jacobsen and one of the heirs of the Carlsberg brewing empire. Jacobsen had a great interest in ancient Greek and Roman statuary and contributed to the founding of the Ny Carslberg Glyptotek – one of the most important Danish art museums, based in Copenhagen. The Thorn was donated to the museum in 1910 and is still part of the collection to this day.

By the time of The Thorn’s conception, the ‘cult’ of the statuette for the home was widespread among the British public, who would seek after popular models exhibited at the Royal Academy and praised by critics. The present bronze is a reduction of the larger model in bronze, produced by the artist for the burgeoning collector’s market.

Download Exhibition Catalogue for Arthur George Walker

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The New Sculpture Movement


2018 Exhibition Catalogue

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Robert Adams, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Alfred Drury, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir Jacob Epstein, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Pierre Félix Fix-Masseau, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Pablo Gargallo, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Jean-Léon Gérôme, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Emmanuel  Hannaux, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Adrian Jones, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Fritz Klimsch, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Gerald Laing, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Frederic Lord  Leighton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(English, 1830-1896)

Andrea Lucchesi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Lucchesi, Andrea

(Italian, 1860-1924)

Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mackennal, Sir Edgar Bertram

(Australian, 1863-1931)

Antonin Mercié, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mercié, Antonin

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Ivan Mestrovic, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mestrovic, Ivan

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George Minne, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Minne, George

(Belgian, 1866-1941)

Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Moore, Henry

(English, 1898-1986)

Edward Onslow-Ford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Onslow-Ford, Edward

(English, 1852-1901)

Eduardo Paolozzi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(British, 1924-2005)

Paul  Philippe, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Philippe, Paul

(French , 1870-1930 )

Pablo Picasso, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Hiram Powers, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Jean-Jacques Pradier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(French, 1840-1917)

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(French, 1840-1917 and 1824-1887)

Alfred Stevens, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(English, 1818-1875)

Raymond Sudre, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Sudre, Raymond

(French, 1870-1962)

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Albert Toft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(British, 1861 - 1936)

Ossip Zadkine, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Zadkine, Ossip

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