'Snowdrift' 1901

Edward Onslow Ford (1852 – 1901)

Marble, green onyx, lapis lazuli with silver mounts and black marble, 39.5 x 90.5 x 35.6cm
Accession Number LL47

Edward Onslow Ford 'Snowdrift'

The figure is conceived as a personification of snow, or perhaps of the spirit of winter. Now, with the coming of spring, the snow is melting and she is sleeping – or dying.

Ford combines intense poetry in the unusual pose and haunting expression of the girl with direct realism in the modelling of her figure. Even her ribs are visible through her emaciated and bony flesh. His use of varied materials and textures also reflects his adherence to the principles of the ‘New Sculpture’.

Ford was working on this piece when he died on 23 December 1901. It was completed by another artist and exhibited posthumously at the Royal Academy in 1902.