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Famous Rodin sculpture comes to Gloucester City Museum


Famous Rodin sculpture comes to Gloucester City Museum

With the support from Marketing Gloucester, Gloucester City Museum is delighted to announce that the National Portrait Gallery in London has approved the loan of three pieces for an exhibition dedicated to the Gloucester-born poet WE Henley (1849-1903).

The most famous of these pieces includes a bronze bust of Henley by the world-renowned artist Auguste Rodin. Two portraits will also be included in the exhibition. The first is a pen and ink sketch by the artist Harry Furniss, and the other a pastel portrait by the artist Francis Dodd.
 
William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August, 1849. The eldest of 6 children he was educated at The Crypt School in the city between 1861 and 1867, under the headmastership of Thomas Edward Brown.  When his father, also William, died in 1868 his wife and young family relocated to London to further their careers.
 
From the age of 12 Henley suffered badly with tuberculosis of the bone, and later in life lost his left leg to the disease. During one of many long hospital stays Henley wrote the infamous poem ‘Invictus’, which went on to inspire people all around the world.

Letters written by Robert Louis Stevenson, state that his great friend Henley had actually inspired him to create the character of ‘Long John Silver’ in Treasure Island.
 
In later years Nelson Mandela is said to have recited the ‘Invictus’ poem to other prisoners to empower them with its message of self-mastery whilst imprisoned at Robben Island.
 
The sculpture of William E Henley (1849-1903) will be exhibited within the Gloucester City Museum from October to December, as part of the ‘Invictus’ exhibition.

More details will be released soon via the Museum’s Facebook and Twitter feeds –
@GlosCityMuseum
/GloucesterMuseums


Explore Gloucestershire
6 August 2015


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