1786-1860 | British
Little Red Riding Hood
White marble, set on a shallow white marble plinth
Signed “J. Gott, Ft.”
Known for his unconventional, almost light-hearted, approach to his subjects, Joseph Gott offers his own interpretation of the character of Little Red Riding Hood in this magnificent marble statue. One of Gott’s finest and most charming works, the intricately carved piece epitomizes his unpretentious nature and affinity for more directly human, accessible themes. Gott’s vision of Riding Hood is the picture of purity and naturalness, seemingly captured just moments before her fateful lupine encounter. Dressed in classical costume, she is tinged with a slight sensuality, yet recalls age-old ideals and standards.
Originally from Leeds, England, Joseph Gott began to explore his art at an early age. He studied in London from 1798-1802, under celebrated sculptor and Wedgwood designer John Flaxman. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1805, winning a silver medal in 1806 and gold medals in 1807 and 1819. He went to Rome in about 1822, encouraged and sponsored by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Rome was to be Gott’s base for the rest of his life, sending works home to be exhibited in the Royal Academy. Gott also exhibited at the British Institution and at the Paris Exhibition in 1855, and commissioned a number of monuments.
A contemporary of John Gibson and Richard James Wyatt, who were also based in Rome, Gott set himself apart from his fellow expatriate sculptors, avoiding high moral or obscure mythological themes and never developing a liking for sweet nymphs. Gott's work instead responded to the more open-minded patron who wanted sculptures that reflected an unaffectedness and genuine humanity. His work includes a variety of rustics and shepherds, animals – especially dogs – and many portrait busts and medallions, typically in Roman costume. Among his ideal figures, the most characteristic are girls, lightly draped, with Greek foreheads and noses, but their softer faces and chins putting them firmly in the early part of the 19th Century.
46 5/8" high x 19" wide x 14" deep