A Group of Four 20thC English School Studio Plaster Portrait Busts

Origin: British
Period: Mid/Late 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1960-80
Height: 15” largest or 12.5” smallest
Width: 7.5” largest or 6” smallest
Depth: 7” largest or 5” smallest

The mixed group of studio portrait busts, of good generous size and by the same hand, each modelled head in thick composition plaster and painted in differing metallic tones, realistic yet free and relaxed in their execution, being two males and two females, one with a metal earring and bow and each in very decorative condition, surviving from the second half of the twentieth century.

The condition of the busts varies to each but there is chipping to each as photographed. Please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference.

Busts are sculptural portraits that stopped at the neck. This goes way back to the Egyptian times, but there wasn’t much documentation on why the Egyptians just had busts made rather than a whole sculpture. The busts we now all recognise was a Hellenistic Greek invention to record the most distinctive characteristics of each person.

Part of the appeal here is not just the hugely decorative element but the mystery as to who these people are, who was the extrovert against the more introspective? ; it matters not because as a quartet these work wonderfully well together, akin to The Beatles, for instance.