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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Charles Leonard Hartwell (1873–1951)

Sculptor. He trained at the South London Technical School of Art under W.S. Frith, and at the Royal Academy, 1898–1903. He also studied privately with Edward Onslow Ford and W.H. Thornycroft. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1900 and 1950. His Dawn (marble, 1913–14, Tate Britain) is a languidly sensual poetic figure in the manner of French Salon sculptors of the turn of the century. His humorously entitled A Foul in the Giants’ Race (bronze, 1908, Tate Britain), a group of elephants and their riders, is animalier sculpture inspired by life in India. An early public commission is his South African War memorial to the Royal Sussex Regiment, Brighton (1904). During both World Wars, Hartwell exhibited works with war-related subjects, such as Blighty (1916), Tommy (1918) and An Ally (1945). In 1923, Earl Haig unveiled Hartwell’s First World War Memorial for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a dynamic equestrian group of St George and the Dragon on a tall stone plinth. A version of this group was later used for the Marylebone War Memorial, in front of St John’s Wood Church in London. Hartwell’s other First World War memorials include Wimbledon and King’s College School, Wimbledon (both 1921); Bushmills, County Antrim (1921); Clacton, Essex (1924); and Armagh, County Armagh (1926). Hartwell was elected an Associate Royal Academician in 1915 and a full RA in 1924, and presented as his diploma work a poetic and slightly androgynous head in marble entitled The Oracle (1917). In 1929, he won the Royal Society of British Sculptors’ Silver Medal for a work which displayed his appreciation of beautiful girls as well as his skills as an animal sculptor, the Goatherd’s Daughter (bronze, St John’s Lodge Gardens, Regent’s Park, London). Portraiture, in the form of busts, is a predominant feature of Hartwell’s oeuvre.

Bibliography: J. Christian (ed.), The Last Romantics, London, 1990, cat. 209, p. 148; F. Lloyd et al, Public Sculpture of Outer South and West London, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 184–85, 190–91; Mapping Sculpture; Royal Academy of Arts: ‘Charles Hartwell RA (1873–1951)’; J. Seddon et al, Public Sculpture of Sussex, Liverpool, 2014, pp. xiii, 24; P. Usherwood et al, Public Sculpture of North-East England, Liverpool, 2000, pp. 99–101; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 222, 226–27, 432–34; Who Was Who, 2007.

Philip Ward-Jackson, 2003; revised Terry Cavanagh, May 2024

Hartwell, Charles Leonard

Walter Stoneman, Charles Leonard Hartwell, bromide print, 1934, NPG x168184 (photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London)