Aimé-Jules Dalou and Alfred Drury, A Symbiosis of Teacher, and Pupil; Master and Praticien; Advisor and Friends
by Jane Winfrey
Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838–1902) was a master of sculpture. His impact as a teacher on the students at the South Kensington Schools after fleeing the Paris commune was profound. As a tutor in modelling, he created a generation of technically and artistically proficient sculptors whose lasting legacy is witnessed in our public monuments, architecture, medals and statuettes. Alfred Drury (1856–1944) under the tutelage of Dalou won accolades, medals and prizes at the National Art School, South Kensington. Dalou returned to France in 1880 and Drury followed him to work as a praticien on two major monuments to the French Republic. Indeed the model of Monument to the Republic had already begun in England and it is evident that Drury was already involved. Dalou knew the importance of patronage and the ability to understand the whims of Royalty and nobility whilst never loosing his love and identity of people and the ‘Labourer.’ When Drury returned to England, it was Dalou who introduced him into the practice of the Royal Sculptor, Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834–1890); a vital stepping stone on the sometimes precarious existence as an artist making a living from sculpture. So strong was the respect for Dalou and his modernising of late 19th Century British Sculpture in Britain, Drury’s career was to become one of the most fruitful of his generation.
Jane Winfrey is an independent researcher and Fine Art Valuer. She has worked with Phillips auctioneers in London and Bonhams auctioneers in the North of England . She has held posts, as an exhibition organiser for Bradford Museums and Galleries; at Leeds Museums and Galleries in Collections Management and with an illustration collection and gallery for the University of Humberside. She is currently researching the sculptor Alfred Drury.