Paul Raphael Montford (1868-1938)
Conceived 1911 in plaster
Bronze cast 1915
Exhibited at RA in 1915, illustrated in the catalogue.
Illustrated in Academy Architecture 1909-1912 by Alex Koch , plaster version.
Illustrated in a photo of the artist's studio in 1911.
A rare example of one of Montfort’s exhibition sculptures.
Paul Montford was the son of the sculptor Horace Montford, he began his career at an early age helping his father in his studio. He gained a place studying sculpture at the Royal Academy School in London and won a gold medal and travelling scholarship in 1891. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy.
His important public works in the UK are the pair of figure groups at the entrance to Imperial College in South Kensington, and four figure groups on the Kelvin Way Bridge Glasgow. He also designed a very moving group for Croydon War memorial.
In 1923 he and his family emigrated to Victoria, Australia, taking with him all his unsold sculptures which were exhibited in the Geelong Art Gallery in 1924. Montford was looking forward to continuing his sculpting career and eager to undertake public commissions. He won the competition to sculpt the ‘Shrine of Remembrance’ in Melbourne which kept him occupied for several years. He designed and sculpted four figures 23 feet high and two friezes 8 feet high by 56 feet long.
Between 1932-1939 he produced many public works in Melbourne including ‘Water Nymph’ and ‘Peter Pan’ in the Royal Victoria gardens along with statues of pioneers and statesmen. In Parliament House Canberra he sculpted the busts of eight statesmen. In 1934 he was awarded a gold medal for the best sculpture of the year by the Royal British society of Sculptors.
Montford is represented in the National Gallery of Art in Melbourne by Atalanta, the Spirit of Anzac, and two busts, and he is also represented in the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide. Though his greatest legacy are the public works in the City of Melbourne.
He died at the age of 70 whilst still working on projects.