About this artwork

The nude young man holds out a large comic mask in both hands. Its large laughing mouth frames the youth's head when the sculpture is viewed from the left. However, his body twists towards the right and the expression on his own face reveals a surprising contrast to the comic mask as he grimaces in pain. He has apparently been stung by a bee. The half-mask which he wears like a head band emphasises the tragic face. The figure was inspired by the play Comedy and Tragedy by W.S.Gilbert (1836-1911) which the sculptor saw at the Lyceum Theatre, London.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Comedy and Tragedy
  • date created:
    1891 - 1892
  • materials:
    Bronze
  • measurements:
    Height: 83 x 30 x 30 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Sir Alexander Maitland Bequest 1965
  • accession number:
    NG 2287
  • gallery:
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Alfred Gilbert

Alfred Gilbert

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