Physical Dimensions: w12.1 x h39.6 x d13.7 cm (Without frame)
Exhibition: Caramulo, Portugal
Donated by:: The artist
Description: Leopoldo de Almeida was a sculptor who could be placed in the second generation of Portuguese modern art. His vast academic-style work, given preferential recognition in official commissions, adhered to a neoclassical stylisation of figures. This is the case with the work in question, a clay model for an eminently decorative sculpture, fairly characteristic of his production of the 1950s. The theme of the “King’s daughter guarding ducks” had already been dealt with in naturalistic terms at the beginning of the century by Costa Mota Sobrinho, in the statue alluding to this subject that he produced for one of the lakes in the Jardim da Estrela, in Lisbon. In returning to this same theme, Leopoldo de Almeida embodies it on this occasion in the form of a young half-naked woman, standing with her legs slightly bent, an oval face with parted hair and a pleated cloak, in what amounts to a manifestly neoclassical composition. Certain more modern details can be seen in the somewhat expressive modelling of the figure, as is the case with the pleating of the clothes. This is due only to the fact that it is a clay model intended for a later transposition to marble, with some of the initial spontaneity consequently being lost in the finished work. Such a statement is, in fact, confirmed by the existence of a number of similar marble sculptures made by Leopoldo, such as those that are currently to be found in the niche of the staircase at the Palace Hotel de Seteais or in the lobby of the Palácio Foz in Lisbon.