The Bather (1915)
Here is a nice, life size bather from the early part of the twentieth century by Albert Toft (1862-1949). Toft originally worked at the Wedgewood factory (as did his father) and studied art part time in Henley and Newcastle under Lyme. His brother, the splendidly named J Alphonsus Toft, was a painter.
Nude on a Rock
In 1881 studied at the National Art Training School (later to become the Royal College of Art) in South Kensington. This figure can also now be found in South Kensington as Agent Triple P recently came across it in the sculpture halls of the Victoria and Albert Museum. His teacher at the National Art Training School was the French born sculptor Edouard Lanteri who had fled Paris for London due to the Franco-Prussian War. Some of Lanteri's figures decorate the exterior of the V&A itself. Lanteri was also then tutor of F W Doyle-Jones whose best known work is the figures at the main entrance to Waterloo station.
Toft did a series of nudes, such as The Bather, from the late eighteen eighties until well into the twentieth century. These nude figures tend to have very beautiful faces with full sensuous lips, short or off the shoulder hair and realistic rather than idealised figures.
From 1885 until 1947 Toft was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. He produced a number of sculptures for public monuments, particularly of Queen Victoria, for provincial towns and cities in Britain as well as figures for war memorials such as the Royal London Fusiliers monument in Holborn in London.
Royal London Fusiliers monument (1920)
This sculpture, the Spirit of Contemplation exists in a number of versions; notably one where the scroll across her lap is missing.
Spirit of Contemplation