Skip to content

Met Museum Acquires Impressive Bronze

March 15, 2013
William Theed the Elder (1764-1817), Thetis returning from Vulcan with the armour of Achilles. Bronze, cast, chased and patinated, on an integral rectangular plinth. Height: 128 cm; width: 120 cm; length: 143 cm.

William Theed the Elder (1764-1817), Thetis returning from Vulcan with the armour of Achilles. Bronze, cast, chased and patinated, on an integral rectangular plinth. Height: 128 cm; width: 120 cm; length: 143 cm.

London-based sculpture dealers Tomasso Brothers, in announcing the opening of their new Duke Street location, revealed details about the sale of a significant work by William Theed the Elder to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, according to ArtDaily:

Thetis returning from Vulcan with the armour of Achilles by William Theed the Elder (1764-1817) … was unveiled at the inaugural Frieze Masters in October 2012. This remarkable, almost life-size, bronze depicts the ‘divine Thetis of the silver feet’, most famous of the Nereids in Homer’s Iliad, kneeling by the shield of her son Achilles with the hero’s armour in a giant cockle shell.

This spectacular sculpture, described by Sir Timothy Clifford as ‘undoubtedly Theed’s most ambitious work’, was almost certainly originally supplied to the author, philosopher, interior designer and art collector, Thomas Hope (1769-1831) for Duchess Street, London, or his country house Deepdene in Surrey. William Theed was born in London and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1786. He went to Italy in 1790, returning in 1796. He began his artistic career as a painter but was befriended by the sculptor John Flaxman whilst in Rome and took up sculpture. Flaxman’s designs for Homer’s Iliad clearly made a powerful and lasting impression on the young Theed.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: