John Doubleday (b. 1947) ‘Estranged Nude’

John Doubleday (b. 1947) ‘Estranged Nude’


Born near Maldon in 1947, John Doubleday has lived most of his life in the village of Great Totham, near Maldon in Essex. He studied sculpture at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and since the mid-seventies has become renowned internationally for his sculptural career and public sculpture.

Almost all of Doubleday’s work is figurative, cast in bronze, and mostly based on portraiture. The most recent commissions have been in heroic scale. A large work in his own locality was sculptured to commemorate the confrontation between the Saxons and the Vikings at the Battle of Maldon in August 991 and the sculpture of Nelson to commemorate the bicentenary of Trafalgar, installed adjacent to the Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar.Doubleday has also done two sculptures of Charlie Chaplin, the first in Leicester Square, the second in Vevey, Switzerland. In a similar style, he has done two statues of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, at Bristol and Paddington Station in London. In his own words the artist declares:

‘I have worked as a fine art moulder and caster for many years at several foundries.

With many qualifications and a vast background in art and design, sculpture and fine art, including time spent at Amersham and Wycombe University and Canterbury and Rochester colleges (K.I.A.D.) I finally decided my next move was to offer my experience, skills and knowledge freelance.’


Doubleday’s ‘Estranged Nude’ appears to have been designed with a simplistic, unpretentiousness style in mind. The upper torso and head are in proportion whilst the lower torso and leg give the impression of being slightly elongated and lengthened. This is due to the contrast of shapes used in the sculpture, between the shapely torso and the slender leg.

The limited facial details and the unexpected removal of limbs enhance the hostility and alienation of this estranged nude.


Claire Pyne