Frank Dobson

(London, 1888 - 1963)


10.75 x 17.25 cm

- Sir Charles Reilly, The Straits, Kingsley Bordon, Hampshire, 1945 

- Earp, T.W., Frank Dobson, Sculptor, 1945, p. xvi, pl. 33b, as Levée
- Neville Jason, The Sculpture of Frank Dobson, 1994, p. 154, cat. 187, illus.

Biographical references:
- The dictionary of art, ed. by Jane Turner, Macmillan 1996, and rev. ed. online,, entry by John Glaves-Smith.

One of the pioneers of modern British sculpture, Frank Dobson started his artistic career as a painter, and like other progressive artists such as Picasso and Matisse, developed an interest for radical sculpture. From the mid-1920s Dobson was to concentrate on the naked female figure treated in a calm, simplified monumental fashion, showing affinity with the work of Aristide Maillol.

His small late terracottas share the monumentality of his larger sculptures, with pure, sensuous forms based on his interest for classicism and primitive art.

In a letter to Sir Charles Herbert Reilly (1874-1948) dated 15 September 1945, Dobson wrote:
“Now about your terra cotta. I am so glad you like it. A photograph of it will be reproduced in a book which is to be published on my work & it is listed as being in your collection. It is the original clay model made by me, baked, & it is unique. That is there can be not no other copies.
It is a good thing to keep these delicate little works dusted if you live in the London area. Dont rub them with a cloth. Blow the dust off with a pair of bellows or put the vacuum cleaner over it occasionally. The carbon in the London atmosphere tends to make a dirty skin. Anyway you know this quite well. You know what it does to buildings.”