HARRY BATES (1850-1899), British sculptor, was born at Stevenage, Herts, on the 26th of April 1850. He began his career as a carver's assistant, and before beginning the regular study of plastic art he passed through a long apprenticeship in architectural decoration. In 1879 he came to London and entered the Lambeth School of Art, studying under Jules Dalou and Rodin, and winning a silver medal in the national competition at South Kensington. In 1881 he was admitted to the Royal Academy schools, where in 1883 he won the gold medal and the travelling scholarship of X 200 with his relief of "Socrates teaching the People in the Agora," which showed grace of line and harmony of composition. He then went to Paris and studied under Rodin.
A head and three small bronze panels (the "Odyssey,") executed by Bates in Paris, were exhibited at the Royal Academy, and selected for purchase by the Chantrey trustees; but the selection had to be cancelled because they had not been modelled in England. His "Aeneas" (1885), "Homer" (1886), three "Psyche" panels and "Rhodope" (1887) all showed marked advance in form and dignity; and in 1892, after the exhibition of his vigorously designed "Hounds in Leash," Bates was elected A.R.A. This and his "Pandora," in marble and ivory, which was bought in the same year for the Chantrey Bequest, are now in the Tate Gallery. The portrait-busts of Harry Bates are good pieces of realism - strong, yet delicate in technique, and excellent in character. His statues have a picturesqueness in which the refinement of the sculptor is always felt. Among the chief of these are the fanciful "Maharaja of Mysore," somewhat overladen with ornament, and the colossal equestrian statue of Lord Roberts (1896) upon its important pedestal, girdled with a frieze of figures, now set up in Calcutta, and a statue of Queen Victoria for Dundee. But perhaps his masterpiece, showing the sculptor's delicate fancy and skill in composition, was an allegorical presentment of "Love and Life" - a winged male figure in bronze, with a female figure in ivory being crowned by the male. Bates died in London on the 30th of January 1899, his premature death robbing English plastic art of its most promising representative at the time. (See SCULPTURE.)
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