Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tegners Two

215. Man Running after his Ideal 1920, bronze.

I have now added some titles and comments. I wonder if it is useful to see them first without and decide on the merits of each work as they are put to you “blind” ? These pictures come from Tegners gallery in Denmark with appropriate permission.

168. The Arch of Life also called The Arch of Columns, prior to October 1915. Plaster, plastelina, wood, and paint. Model for an arch that Tegner envisaged be erected by Trianglen at the entrance to Fælledparken, Copenhagen. Exhibited at Copenhagen City Hall in October 1915. The plan was never carried out.
What a terrible pity.

195. Leda and the Swan 1918, plaster. Created on the basis of an ancient Greek relief, sketched in Athens in 1902.

177. Leda Fountain 1916-17, plaster. Study for a three-piece fountain commissioned by the stock broker Johan Levin, who also bought other sculptures by Tengner. Model for the the main part of the bronze fountain, which today stands by the Ege carpet factory, Herning.

102. Torso of a Woman 1906, plaster.

123. Caryatids 1910, plaster.

The Mystery of Love 1912-18, plaster which was envisaged as part of The Arch of Life. The central part: 191. The Sacrifice1917-18, to the right: 155. Devotion 1913, plaster to the left: 141. The Kiss 1913.

233. The Burden of Love 1922-23, plaster. Variation over 148. A Woman Carrying Water.

and below

164. In the Embrace of Darkness (!), 1915, plaster.

255. Hercules Dancing with Omphale 1927, plaster.

239. Sepulchral Monument to Asger Hamerik 1923-24, plaster. Asger Hamerik (1843-1923) was a composer. Erected in bronze at Vestre Cemetery, Copenhagen, June 1.

105. Sepulchral monument to Mrs. Schmiegelow1906, plaster.Sepulchral monument to Thyra Ingeborg Viola Schmiegelow (1870-1905, née Meyer) erected at Assistens Cemetery, Copenhagen, October 1906.
I can understand why Chris Miller associates this place with a Mausoleum. Working artists have to make a living out of commissions some times and some of the work they have to do are memorials. Personally this works does not make me feel morbid like some do; sad like the next one may be.

133. Sepulchral monument to Elisabeth Tegner 1912, plaster. The monument stands in bronze at Frederiksberg Cemetery, Copenhagen. Anna Elisabeth Tegner (1881-1911, née Johansen) married Rudolph Tegner's brother Wilhelm Tegner in 1903.

70. Emancipated 1901, plaster.

22. The Future 1896, bronze and stone. Shown at an exhibition in Paris in 1896 at the right of 19. The Great Mann. The explanatory text was: "The Great Whore tyrannizes a man who personifies the spirit that is about to emerge and strives to reach eternal goals".

5. A Faun 1891, plaster. Tegner's debut, exhibited at Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 1892.
Now that's a lot for a first attempt I think!!!

210. Eros Leaving Psyche 1920, plaster.

258. Love 1927, fired clay.

19. The Great Man 1895-96, plaster, center figure in the trilogy Man and the Deity

218. Zeus Throwing a Lightning Bolt 1920-21, bronze.

159. The Thirsty Children 1914, plaster. Intended as part of The Arch of Life.

77. The Eternal Walls 1902, fired clay. Part of The "Arch of Destruction", which was never made. Later used as part of The Arch of Life.
144. The Seekers 1912-15, bronze. Modeled in 1902 - and named The Eternal Walls above 77. Part of "The Arch of Destruction", which was never made. Later used as part of The Arch of Life. Cast over part of the model for The Arch of Life.

75. David Singing for Saul 1902, fired clay.
129. Ballerina Fountain1911-12, plaster. The fountain was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen. The models were the ballet dancers Emilie Smith, Grethe Ditlevsen, and Elna Jørgen-Jensen. Unveiled in 1913 in the King's Gardens, Copenhagen. In 1933, moved to Elsinore, where it still stands by the road to Kronborg Castle.

303. Denmark during the Occupationalso called The Winged Wooden Horse 1940, fired clay and wood.
Judging by this I can't imagin Tegners could have had much sympathy with his Nazi rulers.

146. The Separation 1912-15, bronze and stone. Cast over part of the model for The Arch of Life

320. The Sculptor 1944, plaster.
I know the feeling!!!!!

189. Venus with Cupid 1917-18, fired clay.

86. Oedipus and Iokasta1 904, fired clay.

19. The Great Man, center figure in the trilogy; Man and the Deity. 1895-96, plaster. At the Salon de Champ de Mars in Paris, Rudolph Tegner presented his enormous trilogy in 1896 under the title "Man and the Deity". The centre figure in plaster. was "The Great Man". The catalogue contained an explanatory text: "The Almighty sits on a rock and views the world. The spirit of the earthly emerges at the feet of the Divine". On the right was 22. The Future in bronze and stone: "Man (the soul of steel) conquers the Great Whore after a long series of battles". On the left was 16. Our Time: "The Great Whore tyrannizes a man who personifies the spirit that is about to emerge and strives to reach eternal goals".
Well, I am a little uncertain about all that personally. I would like him to explain it a bit more before I cast a more concrete opinion, I would hate to misunderstand a great artist, but then this was done in 1896 when things were a little different! I purposely put the kneeling figure separately to try and see if that makes a difference to ones perception of the work.
Had he had a tiff with a girl friend?

152. The Family 1913, plaster. The group was envisaged as part of The Arch of Life, but was replaced by 191. The Sacrifice.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

One answer to global warming

I hope to do a sculpture of this Fell Pony in time for the Christmas exhibition in London. This is one of the most "more-ish" sports I know. More pictures to come soon.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dedicated to all those young who will not see this again

Here is a picture of the woods here. I dedicate this picture to all the young who will not see something like this again as a result of gun crime.

Since the swallows left in October last, the little stable yard outside my studio (the old tack room) has been very quiet. Yes, a dozen or more wrens live in the far wall behind my desk and I hear a lot of pushing and shoving, bickering and squabbling at bedtime, but at last things are livening up properly.

This picture explains much, his animals have been out to grass as he has been off sick, but all is getting back to normal.

An advance party of swallows has settled in and soon the main party will arrive making the Etoile feel safe and navigating Trafalgar Square a doddal. They come in at low level at a hundred miles and hour within inches of each other (and me). If I leave my door open they will come in and look for a suitable spot to set up home! I guess that there may be as many as 30 or 40 birds in flight sometimes.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

One Of Art's Greatest Secrets

95. Female Figure. A Fragment.1904, plaster.

A note of explanation

Chris Millers site of 20 C figure sculpture started me off with this blog, so I must get back again to the business in hand.

Please forgive the enthusiasm I have for this Sculptor, but I am somewhat incensed at the low profile he seems to have in the world.

It seems difficult to believe that so gifted a sculptor, putting Michelangelo and Rodin in the shade, who was almost as prolific as Vigeland and twice as talented, should not have a Wikipedia listing in English.

Is it beyond belief that such an amazing Artist can be almost completely buried by the 20 century? I genuinely believe that history will eventually exalt him above his peers and place him firmly in the highest echelons of the greatest sculptors of all time.

It must be said that I do not speak his language, nor can I find much written about him in English so I am in a privileged position, seeing each work without prejudice; purely as sculpture, without history or “reason d’etre”. I can be objective about the subject matter of his works and the messages he may have been attempting to express. It seems that he was married and we know what he looks like and that he worked in France for a time.

It must be said I do not like everything that any one artist may have produced. Rembrandt, my great two dimensional hero, produced some stuff that I do not warm to despite its technical brilliance. Indeed some of my new found friend’s work I find very bizarre and I will happily allow it to stay in a museum for others to go "weak at the knees" at.

This area of the world has produced some fine sculptors, many have been relegated to second stream quite unjustly but this gentleman’s obscurity is a National disgrace, no, International disgrace. Kept under raps or just not “found”, I wonder?

Ok so what’s so wonderful about him that you are making such a fuss Mileham you may ask?

Principally it is the skill in which he portrays the dialogue between his figures. Even in his solo figures it is the body language, the pathos, the drama, which he communicates to us which is so astounding. It is also the accuracy of anatomy without the “ruled straight line” syndrome of a life caste, which makes his works so appealing and believable. The magic is present even in the cyber world of his Museum’s website, so intimate, so real and kenetic.

Dear me, from the French again: here is a “soupçon” in honour of

Mr. Rudolph Tegners of Denmark 1873 to 1950

The excellent photos are by Finn Christoffersen and borrowed from The Rudolph Tengers Museum website found here:

This is how I love to see a work progress,

30. Tones, 1897, plaster. According to the artist's inventory, the sculpture was created for a competition, and cast three times in bronze.

12. Eva with the Corpse of Abel also called Eve and Abel 1894, plaster.The first sculpture Rudolph Tegner exhibited in Paris, Societe National des Beaux Arts, Champ-de-Mars 1894.

140. My Wife Elna, also called The Artist´s Wife 1917, bronze. Full-figure portrait of Elna Tegner (1889-1976, née Jørgensen) , the artist' s wife, seated. Placed in front of the museum before 1955.

224. Victory 1921, bronze, plaster.

54. Satan, 1899, bronze.

Pan again

94. Pan 1904, fired clay.

98. Toward the Light, 1904, plaster. I recommend you visit this page on his website as there are a variety of different versions of it which are both of academic interest as well as further proof of his genius.

111. Toward the Light, 1909, plaster. The final version of the monument to the famous Danish physician Niels Finsen (1860-1904). Erected in bronze at the crossing Blegdamsvej/Tagensvej, Copenhagen, on August 23, 1910.


87. Oedipus Appears, also called King Oedipus 1904, fired clay.

82. King Oedipus and Antigone1903, plaster.

King Oedipus Taking Leave of his Daughters, 1904, plaster.

50. Earthbound, 1899, plaster.

Earthbound1899, plaster. The upper part of the sculpture has been broken.

57. Sepulchral Monument to the Artist’s Mother 1899, plaster.
Sepulchral monument to Signe Elisabeth Tegner (1847-1899, née Puggaard) erected in bronze at Elsinore Cemetery. Stands in marble in Triest, Italy, in memory of one of architect Hummel's relatives. Carl Jacobsen had the monument erected in marble at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, in memory of his wife. In plaster at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

200. Hercules and the Hydra1918, also in bronze with a green patina 201. Hercules and the Hydra.

There is a Danish documentary film on him, details at

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