Sculptor David Williams-Ellis, shares his highlights of the Bronze exhibition at The Royal Academy
Hurry! If you haven’t already been, this is your last week to catch a glimpse of the epic Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy, closing on the 9th December. Luxury lifestyle PR agency Pilot PR shares all you need to know.
Many of the pieces have never before been seen in the UK and leading British Figurative Sculptor, David Williams-Ellis says it is not to be missed:
“To showcase such an eclectic mix under one roof is a rarity and quite exceptional. It really is a bonanza for sculpture-lovers. As well as an amazing range of exhibits, there is also a fantastically informative section devoted to the processes involved in making bronze.”
With works spanning 5,000 years, no such cross-cultural exhibition on this scale has ever been attempted. The exhibition features over 150 of the finest bronzes from Asia, Africa and Europe and includes important discoveries as well as archaeological excavations.
Arranged thematically, Bronze brings together outstanding works from antiquity to the present day. Different sections focus on the Human Figure, Animals, Groups, Objects, Reliefs, Gods, Heads and Busts. The exhibition features stunning Ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan bronzes, through to rare survivals from the Medieval period through to today.
Here, David Williams-Ellis highlights what he found especially memorable from his visits, his ‘must-sees’:
The first you cannot miss since it is at the entrance: the fragmented 2300 year old Greek bronze of a lone dancing satyr rescued from the seabed by fishermen in 1997. Its patination or colour is truly spectacular, as is its movement.
This Etruscan tall thin figure in the second room is remarkable:
The Cellini Perseus macquette and the large bronze copy from Florence - a formative piece that I continuously sketched and was inspired by whilst studying in Florence aged eighteen:
The Giambologna Turkey is as loosely modelled as any 20th /21st Century contemporary piece could be. Such confidence and simplicity!
The Etruscan Chimaera of Arezzo:
I was also amazed by two pieces of sculpture for their delicacy and simplicity of form which was all the more notable because of their extraordinary age:
The Trundholm Sun Chariot (14th Century)
The Cult Chariot of Strettweg (7th Century)
It was also especially warming to see the Crosby Garrett Roman helmet. This is a most subtly beautiful piece of work which was found next to my home in Cumbria. It was auctioned last year and I feared that it had been lost from public view. It is lovely to know that private collectors are still open to exhibiting and sharing their treasures with the rest of us.