Fanindranath Bose


Fanindranath Bose’s name remains absent from the histories of the ‘New Sculpture’ Movement in Britain, yet his sculptures, training and connections suggest that he was a part of this late nineteenth/early twentieth century network of sculptors who were primarily concerned with reproducing the human body in bronze. Born in India, Bose was trained at the Jubilee Art Academy and the Calcutta School of Art before moving to Europe to pursue his ambition to become a sculptor.

After failing to gain admittance to an Italian art academy or the Royal College of Art in London, Bose enrolled at the Board of Manufacturers School of Edinburgh. Scotland was to become Bose’s home. He married a Scottish woman and settled in Edinburgh where he worked for the sculptor Percy Portsmouth at the College of Art after graduating from the Board of Manufacturers School. A Stuart Prize and a travelling scholarship jointly awarded by Edinburgh University and the Bengal Government allowed Bose to spend a year on the Continent where he was heavily influenced by Rodin’s use of bronze (as indeed were a lot of the ‘New Sculptors’, including Alfred Gilbert, Hamo Thornycroft and William Goscombe John). Goscombe John bought Bose’s The Hunter after its exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 1916. Bose had made his debut at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1913, followed by an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London with Boy in Pain the next year. He entered The Snake Charmer and The Athlete and the Hound to the RA in 1919 and 1924, respectively.

As well as having his own sculpture studio in Edinburgh, Bose was recruited by Sayaji Rao III Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda, to teach briefly at Baroda College whilst he was making eight sculptures for the Gaekwad’s Laxmi Vilas Palace and two for Baroda Gallery. The Gaekwad also commissioned a copy of The Hunter after seeing it in Goscombe John’s collection. Bose turned down an invitation to work on the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta. His reasons are not recorded. Bose was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy after completing a group of sculptures in St John’s Church, Perth. He died in Peebles, Scotland, aged 37 on 1 August 1926.


N. Singh, ‘A Bengali Sculptor Trained in Europe. The Art of Fanindranath Bose’, The Graphic, 1 May 1920, p. 686

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1888

William Goscombe John, Sayaji Rao III

Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy

Precise DOB unknown: 

N. Singh, ‘A Bengali Sculptor Trained in Europe. The Art of Fanindranath Bose’, The Graphic, 1 May 1920

The Modern Review (Calcutta), 1921

The Times, 7 August 1926 (notice of his death)


The rising star [and] the first Bengali to gain international fame as a sculptor.

Secondary works: 

Mitter, Partha, Art and Nationalism in Colonial India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 


Peebles, EH45 8FB
United Kingdom
55° 39' 4.5432" N, 3° 11' 32.5968" W
Board of Manufacturers School Edinburgh, EH8 8HG
United Kingdom
55° 57' 7.956" N, 3° 10' 19.4196" W
Date of death: 
01 Aug 1926
Location of death: 
Peebles, Scotland
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Henry Moore


Born in the mining town of Castleford in West Yorkshire, Henry Moore gained an international reputation during his lifetime for his prolific work as a sculptor. He began his formal training in Leeds and was the first sculpture student at the Leeds School of Art. He was introduced to a wide range of art whilst still in Yorkshire, first through his school teacher, Alice Gostick, and then via his acquaintance with Sir Michael Sadler, the Vice Chancellor of Leeds University, who was a collector of modern art.

His studies were interrupted by the First World War when he was called up to fight at the age of eighteen, serving in the Civil Service Rifles, 11th London Regiment. After the war, he moved to London to study and teach at the Royal College of Art after being awarded a scholarship. Moore’s artistic imagination was fired by frequent trips to the collections of the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Zwemmer’s bookshop. A travelling scholarship also enabled him to visit Italy and France in 1924 where he visited numerous museums. He was particularly captivated by an Indian sculpture he saw at the Musée Guimet in Paris and wrote in an excited letter that it was one of the finest pieces of sculpture he had ever seen. The sculpture from India, Africa and Oceania, which Moore encountered through his trips to museums and in the books which he collected, undoubtedly shaped his sculptural oeuvre which was based predominantly on the human body. Moore also credited Roger Fry’s book Vision and Design, which examined art from beyond Europe, as having a profound impact on him. In the 1920s and 1930s, Moore’s reputation was confirmed with solo exhibitions and public commissions.

In the 1930s, he was involved with an international group of artists based in London — many of them émigrés of the Second World War — who promoted the idea of abstract art as a universal language. Other artists who he was close to at this time include Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo, Paul Nash and his lifelong supporter, the poet, writer and critic Herbert Read. Moore’s reputation as an international figure was cemented in the 1940s with the publication of his Shelter Drawings depicting London’s populace seeking protection underground from the Blitz. Moore was friends with the poet and editor Tambimuttu, whose Poetry London Editions published Moore’s Shelter Sketch-Book in 1945. He also contributed a lively and colourful front cover depicting two lyre birds for the magazine Poetry London (no. 8, 1942).

After the war, Moore’s work was exhibited all over the world and he was enthusiastically promoted by the British Council in particular. He also executed prestigious commissions, such as the 1958 Reclining Figure outside the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and his work and name have become associated with post-war internationalism. Perry Green in Hertfordshire had been home to Moore’s family and his workshops and studios since 1940 and houses the Henry Moore Foundation today.

Published works: 

Shelter Sketch-Book (London: Editions Poetry London, 1945)

Date of birth: 
30 Jul 1898

Herbert Read, Sir Michael Sadler, M.J.Tambimuttu.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Poetry London 8 (1942)

Secondary works: 

A good reference guide is:

Davis, Alexander (ed.), Henry Moore: Bibliography (Henry Moore Foundation, published in 5 volumes between 1992 and 1995)

Archive source: 

The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire

The Henry Moore Institute Archive, Leeds

BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham Park, Reading (written transcripts of BBC interviews)

British Museum (Shelter Sketch-Book)

Letters and correspondence, Tate Gallery Archives

British Council Papers, National Archives, Kew

Letters and photographs, Dartington Hall Archives

University of Leeds Special Collections

City of birth: 
Castleford, near Leeds
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Henry Spencer Moore

Date of death: 
31 Aug 1986




Much Hadham (Hertfordshire)

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