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John Steell

United Kingdom (1804 -  1891 ) Wikipedia® : John Steell
STEELL John A Seated Figure Of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Sotheby's /Jun 28, 2007
7,438.82 - 10,414.34
Not Sold

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Artworks in Arcadja
8

Some works of John Steell

Extracted between 8 works in the catalog of Arcadja
John Steell - Alexander Training Bucephalus

John Steell - Alexander Training Bucephalus

Original 1833
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Gross Price
Lot number: 176
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Description:
Description:

SIR JOHN STEELL, RSA (SCOTTISH, 1804-1891)
ALEXANDER TRAINING BUCEPHALUS, 19TH CENTURY
bronze, inscribed JN. STEELL SCULPT EDINBR. 1833
51cm high
Notes:

Note:
The son of an Edinburgh sculptor, Sir John Robert Steell (1804-1891) worked at the top of his profession, creating sculptures destined to be landmarks of his native city. A member of the Royal Scottish Academy and appointed sculptor to Queen Victoria, there is little Steell failed to achieve in his career. His statue of Sir Walter Scott for the Scott Monument on Prince's Street, was the first marble statue ever commissioned in Scotland from a native artist.

Beginning in his father's shop age fourteen, he went on to study at the Edinburgh Life Academy and soon began independent sculptural projects. After travelling to study in Rome in 1829 he was overwhelmed with commissions on his return, mainly from wealthy residents requiring busts. Having established his reputation, he began work on one of his finest and most famous sculpture, Alexander Taming Bucephalus. Commissioned by the North British Fire and Insurance Company, the piece was first carved in wood and displayed in London. This brought him the attention of not only a wider public but also influential patrons, and though he received numerous requests to stay in London, he was resolute about returning to Edinburgh. He was conscious of his responsibility to develop Scotland's artistic character and his foundry was the first in Scotland to introduce artistic casting.

The sculpture's subject is taken from one of the early defining moments in Alexander the Great's life. The legend tells of how an untamable horse was presented to King Phillip, Alexander's father. After the king refused the beast, a twelve year old Alexander claimed that he could tame the horse. He took the reins and spoke softly to it, turning him to face the sun as he realized Buchephalus was afraid of his own shadow.

Through a lack of finances the statue's journey from inception to realization would take over fifty years and Steel would only live for eight years after the large version was finally cast in 1883. The huge bronze was presented to the city of Edinburgh in 1884 and originally resided in St. Andrew Square until it was moved to the City Chambers in 1916. This reduction would have been cast as part of a group in Steell's workshop, probably in 1833.
John Steell - A Seated Figure Of Robert Burns (1759-1796)

John Steell - A Seated Figure Of Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Original
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Lot number: 12
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Description:
SIR JOHN STEELL (1804-1891) - A SEATED FIGURE OF ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796) -
Mis: 47 by 28 by 33cm., 18½ by 11 by 13in.
the scroll inscribed with Burns verse bronze, rich dark brown patina

CATALOGUE NOTE
This is a reduction of Steell's monumental bronze statue of Burns that was unveiled on 'Literary Walk' in New York's Central Park in 1880. It was commissioned from Steell by a committee formed immediately after the unveiling of the sculptor's own statue of Walter Scott (see previous lot), erected eight years previously. Steell is said to have moulded the head of Burns from a cast of the poet's skull in the Edinburgh Phrenological Society. Replicas of the New York statue are in London (Victoria Embankment), Dundee, Dunedin and New Zealand. The present bronze is a domestic size reduction which is rarely seen on the market. The fine casting demonstrates the skill of the foundries based in Scotland which Steell was instrumental in establishing.
RELATED LITERATURE Blackwood, pp.128-129
John Steell - A Bronze Statue Of Sir Walter Scott

John Steell - A Bronze Statue Of Sir Walter Scott

Original
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Lot number: 780
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Description:
footnote:
steell and his family moved from his birth place in aberdeen to edinburgh in 1805. at the end of a wood carving apprenticeship steell went to study sculpture in rome. upon his return to britain steell gained a number of high profile commissions including his sculpture of sir walter scott, executed for the scott monument, princes street, edinburgh, of which this piece is a replica. another version of this sculpture is situated in central park, new york.
literature: dictionary of scottish art and architecture. peter mcewan, 1988.
depicted seated, holding a book, at his feet is a deer hound, on a naturalistic rectangular shaped plinth, signed indistinctly,
John Steell - A Seated Figure Of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

John Steell - A Seated Figure Of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Original
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 11
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Description:
SIR JOHN STEELL (1804-1891) - A SEATED FIGURE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832) -
Mis: 40.5 by 26.5 by 33cm., 16 by 10½ by 13in.
bronze, rich dark brown patina

CATALOGUE NOTE
Steell had a conventional education for a sculptor in the early nineteenth century, completing his studies with a sojourn in Rome, but he broke the mould of a British sculptor's career by setting up his studio in his native Scotland rather than London. He thus established the foundations for a school of Scottish sculpture. The present bronze of Walter Scott is a reduction of the marble statue in Princes Street, Edinburgh (unveiled in 1846) which is said to have been the first marble monument commissioned in Scotland from a Scottish artist. Additionally, Steell was instrumental in the development of bronze casting north of the border; he built his own foundry which he made available to fellow sculptors. In this context, the present bronze is particularly interesting since it gives an insight into the state of casting in Scotland during the nineteenth century. Steell also produced a monumental bronze cast of his Walter Scott which was erected in Central Park, New York, in 1872 (see next lot). The figure was also produced in parian ware.
RELATED LITERATURE Pearson pp.73-83; Payne p.246, no.D127
John Steell - A 19th Century Bronze Statue Of Robert Burns

John Steell - A 19th Century Bronze Statue Of Robert Burns

Original
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Net Price
Lot number: 783
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Description:
depicted sitting on a tree stump, his head raised, beneath his feet is a scroll inscribed with a passage of his poetry, on an integral rectangular plinth base,
Footnote:
During the mid 1880's Sir John Steell cast four almost identical life size sculptures of Burns of which the present lot is a replica. They are situated in New York (Central Park), London (the Embankment Gardens), Dundee (Constitution Road) and lastly in Dunedin, New Zealand.
The inscription on the scroll at Burns' feet is the first verse of 'To Mary in Heaven' which was composed in 1789.
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