Meleager The Hunter by John Gibson

This is one of the larger marble sculptures in Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. I found myself admiring the fine carving and the anatomical accuracy of the statue. But somehow I felt that there was a lack of energy to the piece, given that it was depicting a scene from a hunt, the overall impression it left with me was rather passive.

This is interesting because the sculptor himself is quoted describing his inspiration for the work “My eye had been caught by a big boy holding a dog by the collar at the moment the animal was about to fly at an object. In this I saw a composition which impressed me. I carried it off in my memory, and made a small model in clay”.

(Eastlake, E. ed., (1870) Life of John Gibson, R. A., Sculptor. London; Longmans, Green and Company)