Study for Scandal - clenched feet
Unmounted (ref: 2886)
Provenance: The Artist's Daughter
Scandal depicts a naked couple embracing while an audience of disapproving onlookers in the background peer at them with mouths agape and hands raised in horror. The 1.6 x 1.5 metre relief was boldly displayed in the drawing room of society couple Henry and Gwen Mond where it both scandalised and satirised 1930s polite society with its reference to the couple’s earlier ménage à trois with the writer Gilbert Cannan.
Scandal was commissioned by Henry Mond (heir to the ICI fortune and later the second Lord Melchett) and his wife Gwen in 1930 for their drawing room at Mulberry House, Smith Square, Westminster. The relief is a humorous play on the relationship between the couple’s public notoriety and private life. It is a highly original work of art, rich in symbolism, and was an integral part of their celebrated 1930s Art Deco interior.
Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, said: "Scandal is a wonderful example of Jagger’s work and was a daring riposte by Henry Mond to 1930s society. This is a welcome addition to the V&A’s 20th century British Sculpture gallery."
Charles Sargeant Jagger was born in Kilnhurst near Sheffield in 1885. In 1908 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art where he studied sculpture and modelling until 1911. He served in the First World War in the Dardenelles and on the Western Front and was wounded three times, the last time seriously. In 1918 and he was made an Official British War Artist for the Ministry of Information. Following the war, he undertook numerous war memorial commissions of which the most famous is the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner (1925).