• Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Teucer - Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
Click image to enlarge

Teucer

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

(English, 1850-1925)

Signed Hamo Thornycroft 1881 and signed again in ink on the interior of the base Hamo Thornycroft 1889
Bronze with dark green patination
Height: 31" (79 cm)

Conceived 1881 and cast in 1889


‘Since, rallying, from our wall we forced the foe,
Still aimed at Hector I bent
my bow;
Eight forky arrows from this hand have fled,
And eight bold heroes by their points lie dead:
But sure some god denies me to destroy
This fury of field, this dog of Troy’

Homer, Iliad (Pope’s translation), Book VIII, 359–364

Thornycroft’s concept for Teucer dates to 1880, when the artist started working on a number of small sculptures ‘illustrative of English Games’, beginning with An Athlete Putting the Stone. The series was never completed, but the present work combines such sporting imagery with the classical mythology of ancient Greece, dear to the artist.

According to Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, which recounts the final year of the Trojan War, Teucer was a formidable Greek archer who entered Troy in the Trojan Horse. Once inside Troy, Teucer tried in vain to kill the Trojan prince Hector, who was protected by the god Apollo. The passage above was printed in the Royal Academy Catalogue accompanying the exhibition of the work.

Thornycroft depicts the archer having just released his last arrow, capturing a moment of intense concentration as he watches it fly towards its target. The tension of the figure’s arm and tautness of the bow is clearly evocative of Leighton’s earlier Athlete Struggling with a Python (1877). Yet, Thornycroft’s use of the right-angled form is revolutionary as it does not find any precedent in either Classical or European sculpture nor does such a composition disrupt the model’s perfect balance.

The celebrated artist George Frederic Watts apparently contributed to the development of the Teucer’s composition. According to Thornycroft’s diary, Watts visited his studio and greatly admired the piece, however noting how the ‘thighs and legs are a little short’ and that he should ‘enforce and exaggerate all that will give dignity, elevation. Legs to stride, arms to reach, hands to grasp, neck to raise the head. Keep your masses large and serrati (i.e. compact)—a continuation as much as possible of the ribs. Spread the toes more’. A note made by Thornycroft against this entry reads ‘thighs and legs now lengthened’, testifying to the artist’s receptiveness to these suggestions.

The life-size plaster for Teucer was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881; this model is said to have been destroyed when the artist’s studio was vacated at his death. The bronze version was exhibited a year later and subsequently purchased for the TATE by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest; this also featured at the Venice Biennale in 1905. Two further monumental casts were produced by the artist; one was acquired by the American collector George A. Armour in 1891 for the Art Institute of Chicago. The second cast was purchased in 1911 by Carl Jacobsen and is now part of the collection of the Carslberg Glyptotek, in Copenhagen.

In light of the model’s success, Thornycroft cast the work in three variations during his lifetime: 79cm, 55cm and 33cm high. The present model is the largest of such these works made for the domestic collector.

Unlike many other sculptors working around the same time, Thornycroft was personally involved in the casting process of his bronzes. In the present bronze, this is not only testified by its excellent quality, but also by the signature and dating in ink which appears at the bottom of the piece, signaling that the artist personally handled the sculpture and supervised its casting.

Download Exhibition Catalogues for Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

Bb552bf66cf1e521fb8c2c3b5233b5a93718a4bd

The New Sculpture Movement


2018 Exhibition Catalogue

Dbd46e685a28ac27755a9d37d18cf2ac85798d2a

British New School


2013 Exhibition Catalogue

Works by Sir William Hamo Thornycroft

Browse By Artist

Gustinus Ambrosi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Ambrosi, Gustinus

(Austrian, 1893-1975)

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)

 Carrier-Belleuse & Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Carrier-Belleuse & Rodin

(French, 1824-1887 and 1840-1917)

Lynn Chadwick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Chadwick, Lynn

(British, 1914-2003)

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)

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)

Sir George Frampton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Frampton, Sir George

(English, 1860-1926)

Louis Julien (Jules) Franceschi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Franceschi, Louis Julien (Jules)

(French , 1825-1893)

 George Frederick Watts & Thomas Wren, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

George Frederick Watts & Thomas Wren

(British )

Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Gilbert, Sir Alfred

(British, 1854-1934)

Sir William Goscombe John, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Goscombe John, Sir William

(British, 1860-1952)

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Gérôme, Jean-Léon

(French, 1824-1904)

Frederick James Halnon, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Halnon, Frederick James

(British, 1881-1958)

Herbert Hampton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Hampton, Herbert

(British, 1862-1929)

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)

Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

McKenzie, Robert Tait

(Canadian, 1867-1938)

Antonin Mercié, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mercié, Antonin

(French, 1845-1916)

Ivan Mestrovic, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mestrovic, Ivan

(Croatian, 1883-1962)

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)

Pablo Picasso, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Picasso, Pablo

(Spanish, 1881-1973)

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)

Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Reid Dick, Sir William

(English, 1879-1961)

Charles Ricketts, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Ricketts, Charles

(English, 1866-1931)

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))

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)

Thomas Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Thornycroft, Thomas

(British, 1815 – 1885)

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)

Anton Van Wouw, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Van Wouw, Anton

(South African, 1862-1945)

Arthur George Walker, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Walker, Arthur George

(British, 1861 - 1936)

Ossip Zadkine, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Zadkine, Ossip

(Russian/French, 1890-1967)