‘I was born ambitious. […] I cannot remember one moment of my life from my earliest childhood, when some sort of aspiration did not inspire me’- A.Gilbert, Confessions, 1907
Alfred Gilbert was one of the leading sculptors of his day and a key figure of the New Sculpture movement. Born in London in 1854, he was admitted into the Royal Academy Schools in 1873. In 1875, he moved to Paris where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under the sculptor Jules Cavelier.
Studying abroad was a great privilege for English artists at the time. Gilbert’s move opened the path for a later generation of sculptors and was fundamental for the development of his artistic language. He travelled and worked in Italy, settling in Rome in 1878, where the influence of the Italian Renaissance had a lasting impact on his production.