• The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Mower - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
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The Mower

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

(English, 1850-1925)

Signed Hamo Thornycroft ARA SC 1884
Numbered 11 four times on the base
Bronze with dark and light brown patination
Height: 23 1/4" (59 cm)

Conceived in 1882 and cast in 1884


‘A mower, who, as the tiny swell
Of our boat passing heaved the river grass,
Stood with suspended scythe to see us pass’

Matthew Arnold, Thyrsis, lines 127–129

The Mower is one of Thornycroft’s most celebrated sculptures. The artist conceived the work around 1882, as he was boating down the river Thames, catching sight of a young farmer resting along its banks. Thornycroft sketched the figure quickly, writing in a letter to his fiancé Agatha Cox:

‘He will keep his hat on and carry his shirt on his right arm along with the scythe. A brace will pan over his left shoulder, which will take off the nude look and connect the hat with the breeches somewhat. This gives the hang of the shirt. It is a great help in solidifying the composition and supporting the scythe’.

Thornycroft used his favourite model, the Italian Orazio Cervi, to pose for the piece. Upon its completion in 1884, the Mower was displayed at the Royal Academy accompanied in the catalogue with lines from Matthew Arnlod’s poem Thyrsis, quoted above.

The Mower is a pioneering sculpture in light of its subject matter as it is arguably the first ever free-standing statue of a labourer in worker’s clothes in the history of European sculpture. Its idealised composition is far removed from the realist and dignified depictions of labourers produced in France and Belgium by Aimé-Jules Dalou and Constantin Meunier towards the end of the century. With its contrapposto pose, the Mower is instead an image of sheer youthful beauty, steeped in the arcadian, Classical tradition.

Thornycroft produced several wax studies for the work, the earliest of which dates to 1882 and is currently held in the collection of the TATE Gallery (London). The original, lifesize version of the bronze is currently part of the Walker Art Gallery collection in Liverpool. The sculpture’s success led the artist to produce a 60cm reduction of the model for the collector’s market. Smaller casts, such as the present one, are currently part of the TATE collection and the National Museum of Wales (Cardiff), among others.

When the present cast was produced, Thornycroft was already an Associate Member of the Royal Academy, and his abbreviated title, ARA, is inscribed immediately after the name at the base of the piece.

Download Exhibition Catalogues for Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

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The New Sculpture Movement


2018 Exhibition Catalogue

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British New School


2013 Exhibition Catalogue

Works by Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

Browse By Artist

Gustinus Ambrosi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Michael Ayrton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Gilbert Bayes, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Geoffrey Clarke, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Charles Henri Cordier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Aimé-Jules Dalou, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Francis Derwent Wood, 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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Sir George Frampton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Louis Julien (Jules) Franceschi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir William Goscombe John, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Jean-Léon Gérôme, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Frederick James Halnon, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Herbert Hampton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(British, 1862-1929)

Adrian Jones, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Fritz Klimsch, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Klimsch, Fritz

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Gerald Laing, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Frederic Lord  Leighton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Leighton, Frederic Lord

(English, 1830-1896)

Andrea Lucchesi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mackennal, Sir Edgar Bertram

(Australian, 1863-1931)

Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

McKenzie, Robert Tait

(Canadian, 1867-1938)

Ivan Mestrovic, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mestrovic, Ivan

(Croatian, 1883-1962)

George Minne, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Edward Onslow-Ford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Eduardo Paolozzi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Pablo Picasso, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Enzo Plazzotta, 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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Charles Ricketts, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Rodin, Auguste

(French, 1840-1917)

 Rodin and Carrier-Belleuse, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(French, (1840-1917 and 1824-1887))

Eric Stanford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Stanford, Eric

(British, Born 1932)

Alfred Stevens, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Stevens, Alfred

(English, 1818-1875)

Arthur Strasser, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Strasser, Arthur

(Austrian, 1854-1927)

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Thornycroft, Sir William Hamo

(English, 1850-1925)

Thomas Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Thornycroft, Thomas

(British, 1815 – 1885)

Albert Toft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Toft, Albert

(English, 1862-1949)

Reuben Townroe, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Townroe, Reuben

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Anton Van Wouw, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Ossip Zadkine, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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