Friday, 24 October 2014
Hyde Park, London WC2
It was the last work commissioned by the Constance Fund, a sum of money set aside by the painter and patron of art Sigismund Goetze to form a memorial to his wife Constance. As it turned out, he died first and the fund was administered by Constance until her death in 1951.
The fund was set up for "the encouragement of Ideal Sculpture and its setting for Parks and Public Places in conjunction with the settings and surroundings"; had a rather odd committee structure, set up by Goetze, consisting of "three sculptors, an architect, a horticulturalist and a few laymen." When a site was found, a competition was held offering five prizes of £50 and £1,500 to the winner.
"The Joy of Life" is a great work, full of both joy and life. The four children playing in the spray are particularly charming.