Out On Display #16: Mask of a Dead Faun

CIS:A.4-2008

 

 

Mask of a Dead Faun

Cast bronze

Glyn Philpot

England (London), c.1923

A.4-2008

On display in room 21

 

 

 

 

Self-portrait by Glyn Philpot, oil on canvas, 1908. National Portrait Gallery NPG 4681

Self-portrait by Glyn Philpot, oil on canvas, 1908. National Portrait Gallery

 

 

Glyn Philpot (1884 – 1937) made his name as a painter of society portraits (including that of Siegfried Sassoon), but in the 1920s he became interested in sculpture and the male nude.

 

 

This dramatic change of direction was largely due to tensions between his public life of Christian observance and academic painting, and his private homosexuality and desire for artistic experiment.

 

 

 
Mask of a Dead Faun shows the model George Bridgeman, an ‘affable drifter’, whose good looks and physique represented an ideal for Philpot.

The sides and reverse of the cast.

The sides and reverse of the cast.

From 1919 onwards Bridgeman modelled repeatedly for Philpot who depicted him in a number of striking figurative paintings.

George Bridgeman depicted by Philpot in 'The Skyscraper', oil on canvas, 1916. In the collection of the Victoria Art Gallery

George Bridgeman depicted by Philpot in ‘The Skyscraper’, oil on canvas, 1916. Victoria Art Gallery

This cast was made around the same time that Philpot was elected a full member of the Royal Academy of Arts. It was the only of his sculptural works that sold well during his lifetime.

In the 1930s Philpot went on to adopt a more experimental modernist style and some of his later works were censured for depicting overt sexuality.

 

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