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Jacob Loose Bronze, Sculpted by Rudolf Evans

Jacob Loose Bronze, Loose Park, Kansas City, Missouri

Jacob Loose Bronze By R. Evans #5There’s nothing like a chilly, post rain spring day!  So, in honor of that occasion we had a picnic in the park. Loose park to be precise. I thought I would post photos of this sculpture of Jacob Loose, by Rudolf Evans, as a way to talk about a sculpture that was done “right”. Rudolf Evans designed the Thomas Jefferson sculpture in the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., as well as the Robert E. Lee statue in the Virginia State Capitol and the William Jennings Bryant in Statuary Hall in the Nations Capitol.

Pardon the dark photos, it was a dreary day. The close ups that I shot are the things I want to focus on. I think that a little bit of discussion about how the forms are stylized but still totally natural is the most important part of this piece.

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Profiles and Problem Areas

The two photos above give you a sense of the piece. While it is difficult to discern the details owing to the fact that I am a bad photographer, the silhouette is enough to show you that the stance of the man is perfectly natural. There is nothing about the outline of the piece that your eye senses as “wrong”. I think that is a very important point to note.

Often when a sculpture doesn’t “feel” right, as many recent additions to our public spaces do, a focused look at the outline will give away the errors of the body geometry. Details do a great job of distracting our eye from the whole picture. Stripping away those details often shines a light on problem areas.

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Stylized Bronze fabric

The photos above and below all illustrate the main aspect of this sculpture that is worth noting. Each photo shows a perfectly stylized portion of the fabric of the statue. So stylized that it looks completely natural. That is the beauty of a sculptor that can represent fabric in this way. It seems completely natural and flowing, as if there is tension exactly where it should be and loose fabric exactly where IT should be.

There is nothing that doesn’t convince the eye. But, that isn’t how fabric looks in real life. That is the essence of fabric, the tension and relaxation in just the right spots without the messy details and wrinkles in a real pair of slacks, or overcoat. It is the selection and omission of details that shows the skill.

I have always found it interesting that the 2 best practicing figurative bronze sculptors in the United States today both began their careers as commercial illustrators. It absolutely shows in their work. Bruce Wolfe and Richard Macdonald both have an amazing ability to distill the essence of the fabric type that they are sculpting. It has to be the years of practicing what to leave out and what to leave in so that their illustrations were convincing. At that point they didn’t have the crutch of a bulky 3rd dimension to rely on like so many bronze sculptors do, so they had to become experts at only choosing elements that push the essence of the volume.

If you have ever seen their work, it is amazing how much of the success of any one of their sculptures relies on the tension and relaxation of fabric. But… more on them later.

Do you have a favorite sculpture? Do you have examples of AMAZINGLY natural fabric rendered in bronze? Post them in the comments!

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About E. Spencer Schubert
E.S. Schubert Sculpture Studios is the premiere bronze sculpture studio in the Midwest. Our passion is creating timeless bronze monuments of your heroes.

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