Hylas and the Nymph, St John’s Lodge Garden

1933, by Henry Pegram RA (1862-1937)

This was presented to the gardens by the Royal Academy in 1933. Hylas, a handsome young Argonaut much loved by Hercules, was sent to get water from a spring, but was captured by admiring water nymphs and was never to be seen again. When Hercules went looking for him all he could find was the sound of his voice, like an echo.

The sculptor, Henry Pegram, was the son of a rocking-horse maker. He studied at the West London School of art and the RA schools, and was studio assistant of Sir William Hamo Thorneycroft for four years. His work can be seen at St Paul’s Cathedral (a pair of candelabra) and Sybilla Fatidica in the Tate Gallery. The latter is highly recommended for the telling of another tragic story.

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