Gilbert Ledward was born in London. He was educated at St Mark’s College, Chelsea. In 1905 he entered the Royal College of Art to study sculpture under Edouard Lanteri and in 1910 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. In 1913 he won the Royal Academy’s Gold Medal and Travelling Scholarship, becoming the first Rome Scholar for Sculpture. Although is time in Rome was cut short by the outbreak of World War I, the eight month stay was one of the most inspiring and influential times of his life. During the war he served as a lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery and was appointed as an official war artist in 1918. Following the war he was largely occupied as a sculptor of war memorials including the Guards Division memorial in St James’s Park and the Household Division’s memorial in Horse Guards Parade. In 1934, supported by Eric Gill and Edwin Lutyens, he established a company called Sculptured Memorials and Headstones, which promoted better design of memorials in English churchyards. His war memorials after World War II include one in Westminster Abbey to the Submarine Service, Commandos and Airborne Forces. He was Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1927-1929), where his assistance was the young Henry Moore. In 1937 he was elected a Royal Academician. He became President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and a trustee of the Royal Academy.
The present work was executed in 1914, during his time studying in Rome.
The artist's daughter;
The Fine Art Society, London, 1988;
London, The Fine Art Society, Gilbert Ledward: Drawings for Sculpture - A Centenary Tribute, 1988, no.9.