• 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
Click image to enlarge

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 patina
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.

Works by Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

Download Exhibition Catalogue for Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

Bb552bf66cf1e521fb8c2c3b5233b5a93718a4bd

The New Sculpture Movement


2018 Exhibition Catalogue

Browse By Artist

Robert Adams, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Adams, Robert

(British, 1917-1984)

Michael Ayrton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Ayrton, Michael

(British, 1921-1975)

Gilbert Bayes, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Bayes, Gilbert

(British, 1872-1953)

Pietro Calvi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Calvi, Pietro

(Italian, 1833-1884)

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Carpeaux, Jean-Baptiste

(French, 1827-1875)

A. E. Carrier-Belleuse, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Carrier-Belleuse, A. E.

(French, 1824-1887)

Lynn Chadwick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Chadwick, Lynn

(British, 1914-2003)

Demetre Chiparus, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Chiparus, Demetre

(Romanian, 1886-1947)

Geoffrey Clarke, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Clarke, Geoffrey

(British, 1924-2014)

Jean-Baptiste Clesinger, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Clesinger, Jean-Baptiste

(French, 1814-1883)

Charles Henri Cordier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Cordier, Charles Henri

(French, 1827-1905)

Aimé-Jules Dalou, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Dalou, Aimé-Jules

(French, 1838-1902)

Francis Derwent Wood, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Derwent Wood, Francis

(British, 1871-1926)

Jules Desbois, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Desbois, Jules

(French, 1851-1935)

Alfred Drury, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Drury, Alfred

(English, 1856-1944)

Sir Jacob Epstein, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Epstein, Sir Jacob

(British, 1880-1959)

Pierre Félix Fix-Masseau, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Fix-Masseau, Pierre Félix

(French, 1869-1937)

Pablo Gargallo, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Gargallo, Pablo

(Spanish, 1881 - 1934)

 George Frederick Watts & Thomas Wren, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

George Frederick Watts & Thomas Wren

(British )

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Gérôme, Jean-Léon

(French, 1824-1904)

Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Gilbert, Sir Alfred

(British, 1854-1934)

Adrian Jones, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Jones, Adrian

(English, 1846-1938)

Fritz Klimsch, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Klimsch, Fritz

(German, 1870-1960)

Gerald Laing, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Laing, Gerald

(UK, 1936-2011)

Frederic Lord  Leighton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Leighton, Frederic Lord

(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)

Marino Marini, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Marini, Marino

(Italian, 1901-1980)

Antonin Mercié, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mercié, Antonin

(French, 1845-1916)

Ivan Mestrovic, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mestrovic, Ivan

(Croatian, 1883-1962)

Constantin Meunier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Meunier, Constantin

(Belgian, 1831-1905)

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

Paolozzi, Eduardo

(British, 1924-2005)

Paul  Philippe, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Philippe, Paul

(French , 1870-1930 )

Pablo Picasso, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Picasso, Pablo

(Spanish, 1881-1973)

Charles d'Orville Pilkington Jackson, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Pilkington Jackson, Charles d'Orville

(British, 1887-1973)

Enzo Plazzotta, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Plazzotta, Enzo

(Italian, 1921-1981)

Hiram Powers, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Powers, Hiram

(American, 1805-1873)

Jean-Jacques Pradier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Pradier, Jean-Jacques

(Swiss, 1790-1852)

Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Rodin, Auguste

(French, 1840-1917)

 Rodin and Carrier-Belleuse, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Rodin and Carrier-Belleuse

(French, 1840-1917 and 1824-1887)

Alfred Stevens, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Stevens, Alfred

(English, 1818-1875)

Raymond Sudre, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Sudre, Raymond

(French, 1870-1962)

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Thornycroft, Sir William Hamo

(English, 1850-1925)

Albert Toft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Toft, Albert

(English, 1862-1949)

Reuben Townroe, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Townroe, Reuben

(British, 1835-1911)

Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Walker, Arthur George

(British, 1861 - 1936)

Ossip Zadkine, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Zadkine, Ossip

(Russian/French, 1890-1967)