A Woman in a Man’s World

English Nude Male Youth Sculpture by Dorothy Mary Denning (LEO Design)

I found the sculpture, above, in London last Autumn.  It was in the possession of a friend, a collector of British Sculpture, and he agreed to sell it to me.  This particular collector prefers bronzes and this fellow (above) is sculpted of patinated plaster.  It is signed “D M Venning” and is quite handsome (more so, naturally, when viewed in-person).  He captures perfectly the modern, relaxed Classicism popular between the wars.

Information about the sculptress has proved more-difficult to find.  Her name is Dorothy Mary Venning, she was born in 1885, and she studied and worked in London.  Better known for her miniature painted portraits, she is known to have exhibited a dozen works at the Royal Academy—certainly the mark of an accomplished artist.  What became of her, I do not know.  Perhaps she settled-down into family life, giving-up her artistic career.  Perhaps she’d changed her name.  In any case, her work lives-on—nearly a century after she created it.