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A Boy at Play (c. 1895)

William Goscombe John (1860 - 1952)

Boy standing balancing himself on one foot, reaching forward with other foot to touch a knucklebone on ground in front of him; he must recover his position behind the line without putting his foot to the ground.

Goscombe John was born in Cardiff and began his career assisting his father, a stonemason, on William Burge's restoration of Cardiff Castle. He then studied in London, at Lambeth and the R.A. Schools, before travelling in Europe and working for a time with Rodin in Paris. He made many public monuments as well as statuettes and designed the regalia for the future King Edward VIII's investiture as Prince of Wales in 1911. Goscombe John made the bronze memorial to Canon Guy, William Morris's tutor, in the Chapel of Forest School, Walthamstow (1897).

The plaster version of this statuette was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1895 and in the following year a larger bronze was purchased by the Tate Gallery.