Revd. Allan Gairdner Wyon FRBS RMS (1882-1962). Kiss. Patinated scultpor's casting macquette, signed and dated 1925


The Revd. Allan Gairdner Wyon FRBS RMS (1882 - 1962)
The Kiss, Homage to Rodin.
Patinated plaster, the artist's casting macquette.
Signed and dated 1925

After being labeled too "avant-garde" for the Paris Salon, Rodin began showing his work in private galleries.
In the late 1990s, the Brigham Young University Museum of Art exhibited a show of Auguste Rodin's sculpture; however, the director and other high-ranking university officials made an eleventh-hour decision to omit the famous statue "The Kiss" and three other Rodin works. The museum director feared that the omitted works did not mesh well with the theme of the exhibition, indicating that "the nature of those works are such that the viewer will be concentrating on them in a way that is not good for us." University officials denied that the decision was based on concern that the nudity and passionate embrace of "The Kiss" might offend Provo, Utah's conservative audience. In 1913, the sculpture, thought to be "too daring," was removed from an exhibition at the Corporation of Lewes in London.

The controversy diminished, and into the morally more relaxed 1920s a deeply religious and brilliant young sculptor, creates his own version of The Kiss, where the erotic image from Dante's Divine Comedy that so inspired Rodin, was seen by this aspiring clergyman as one of purity and innocence and God given beauty. The embrace in Wyon's masterpiece is less of an intertwining clinch (where Rodin has interlocked the legs and created more tension by placing the woman's arm and hand around the back of the man's head), and a more reserved work of tenderness, - perhaps more "British" in its suborning of passion by grace.

Wyon was a successful British sculptor and, in later life, Vicar of St. Peters Church, Newlyn, Cornwall.

He specialized in memorials, and works by him are found in several cathedrals. He was not, however, limited to this class of religious sculpture; an example of his "popular" work is a male figure representing the East Wind on the London Underground headquarters building at 55 Broadway above St. James's Park Underground Station.

Wyon was born in 1882, the son of Allan Wyon F.S.A., Chief Engraver of Seals to Queen Victoria. He was educated at Highgate School and studied sculpture at The Royal Academy Schools where he won silver medals. From 1924 to 1930 he was Honorary Secretary of the Art Workers Guild. Wyon was well known as a sculptor, a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, before he took Orders in 1933, when he was 51. In 1936 he became vicar of Newlyn, remaining there until his retirement in 1955.

He was married to Eileen May, third daughter of Frederick le Poer Trench, QC, JP of Dublin. They had one daughter.

Eight years before his death Wyon underwent a cerebral operation from which he never recovered, although he struggled to take up his work again.
His obituary was published in The Times, 27 February 1962.

For many years Wyon was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. His contributions cover a remarkably wide range in subject, form and material: symbolical figures and groups; portraits busts in marble and bronze; medals in silver and engraved seals, suggesting that he had a special talent for his father's craft.
Among the medals designed by him were; the Masonic Memorial Medal, The Prince of Wales Medal for the London Chamber of Commerce, and Lloyd's Medal for Meritorious Services. In 1931 Wyon showed at the Academy, in wax impressions, for Episcopal Seals for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Bangor, and the Bishop of Monmouth, respectively.
Sculptured memorials in Salisbury Cathedral by Wyon include those to:
Bishop F. E. Ridgeway.
Bishop Donaldson.
Lieutenant General Sir George M. Harper.
Hon. Edward Wyndham Tennant.
Bishop Ken.
Other memorials include those to:
Bishop Percival in Hereford Cathedral.
Bishop Frere in Truro Cathedral.
Bishop Walpole in St. Marys Cathedral in Edinburgh.
The combined Memorial to William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, and William Pitt the Younger at Hayes near Bromley in Kent.
The figure of St Michael on Shrewsbury War memorial.
Female standing figure with laurel wreath, Hinckley and District War Memorial.[2]
The Richard Corfield Memorial at Marlborough College.

Other works
The Sorrows of Mankind
Eqyptian Nude, 1917 [3]
Madonna and Child, Newlyn Church Cornwall
Christ the leader, In the South Transept of St Columb Major Church Cornwall
New Birth, West wall of the baptistery of St Columb Major Church Cornwall
Lion on Rock, 1920
Seal for the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine [4]
East Wind on 55 Broadway, headquarters of the London Electric Railway Company (now London Underground)

25.00 cm
65.00 cm
33.00 cm