Sculptor, medallist, and teacher of sculpture and modelling born at Auxerre, Burgundy. In c.1863 he entered the Petite École de Dessin, Paris, while receiving training in the sculpture studio of Aimé Millet. Lantéri left the Petite École in c.1865 and entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where his tutors included Pierre-Jules Cavelier and Eugène Guillaume; during this time he also worked in the studio of François-Joseph Duret. During the Paris Commune in 1871, his friend Aimé-Jules Dalou took refuge in London and recommended Lantéri as an assistant in the studio of Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (with whom Lantéri stayed from 1872 until the latter’s death in 1890). In 1880, Lantéri succeeded Dalou as a teacher at the National Art Training School (from 1896 the Royal College of Art), South Kensington, carrying on his master’s liberating modelling methods and becoming the most respected and influential sculpture teacher of his day; he was appointed the College’s first professor of sculpture and modelling in 1901 and, in response to requests to publish the notes he used for demonstration classes, compiled his three-volume Modelling: a Guide for Teachers and Students (1902–11). For Aston Webb’s extension to the V&A Museum, Lantéri executed, with assistance from four of his advanced students at the RCA – Sidney Boyes, Richard Reginald Goulden, Vincent Hill and James Alexander Stevenson – three figures for the central tower, Fame at the summit and Sculpture and Architecture in niches below; he also supervised the same students in their execution of four of the figures in the niches below, on the Cromwell Road façade (1905). Other public sculpture by Lantéri includes statues of Ludwig Mond, 1912, Swansea, and Sir Samuel Sadler, 1913, Victoria Square, Middlesbrough. Examples of his work are at the Tate, V&A, National Portrait Gallery and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. He showed at the RA, 1885–1917 (70 works); and was a member of the Art Workers’ Guild, 1901–06, and of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, 1905 until his death in 1917.
Bibliography: S. Beattie, The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 166, 168, 171, 172; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 271–72; A.S. Gray, Edwardian Architecture, London, 1985; Mapping Sculpture; E. Morris and E. Roberts, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, Liverpool, 2012, pp. 252–54; M. Stocker, ‘Lantéri, Edward (1848–1917)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; P. Usherwood et al, Public Sculpture of North-East England, Liverpool, 2000, pp. 290–91.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Alphonse Legros, Edouard Lantéri, 1898, silverpoint drawing, Paris, Musée du Louvre (photo: public domain)