Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Redfern, James Frank

654125Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 47 — Redfern, James Frank1896Campbell Dodgson

REDFERN, JAMES FRANK (1838–1876), sculptor, was born at Hartington, Derbyshire, in 1838. As a boy he showed a taste for art by carving and modelling from the woodcuts of illustrated papers. At the suggestion of the vicar of Hartington, he executed in alabaster a group of a warrior and a dead horse. This was brought to the notice of Alexander James Beresford-Hope [q. v.], on whose estate Redfern was born. Hope sent him to Paris to study for six months. His first work exhibited at the Royal Academy, ‘Cain and Abel’ (1859), attracted the notice of John Henry Foley [q. v.] He exhibited a ‘Holy Family’ in 1861, ‘The Good Samaritan’ in 1863, and other subjects almost every year until his death. These were at first chiefly of a sacred character, and afterwards portrait statues. His larger works were principally designed for Gothic church decoration. Among them may be mentioned sixty statues on the west front of Salisbury Cathedral; statues of the Apostles at Ely; groups of figures on the reredos at Gloucester; Our Lord in majesty in the chapter-house, Westminster; an elaborate reredos, representing the crucifixion, with the martyrdoms of St. Peter and St. Andrew, in St. Andrew's, Wells Street; the entombment in the Digby mortuary chapel, Sherborne. He also carved the statue of Fortitude on the Albert Memorial, Hyde Park, and the statue of the Duke of Devonshire in front of the laboratory at Cambridge. He died at Hampstead on 13 June 1876, in the midst of a promising career.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Royal Academy Catalogues, 1859–76; Art Journal, 1876, p. 276.]

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