Medium bronze edition of 9
Size 15" (38cm)
Modelled in the artist’s studio.
Commissioned by family.
Leopold Abse (born April 22nd 1917) is a British politician from Wales. He was a Labour Member of Parliament 30 years and is noted for promoting private members bills to legalise homosexual relationships and liberalise the divorce laws.
Abse swiftly acquired a reputation for independence of spirit. He made a point of dressing flamboyantly on Budget day, and liked to drop references from Freudian psychotherapy into his speeches, which had partly been learned from Professor Wilfred Abse, his elder brother and a professional psychiatrist. Although his abilities might have taken him to high office, Abse had a complete lack of ambition and never desired anything more than to be a backbench MP. This factor, together with the fact that he had a safe seat, freed him from the restrictions which prevented other MPs taking up controversial subjects.
James Callaghan said of Abse that he had done much more good in terms of human happiness than 90% of the work done in Parliament on what is called political issues. No backbench MP could exceed his success in getting Private Member s Bills on to the statute book.
Bust on display in the National Museum of Wales, public collection, donated by Leo Abse & Cohen Solicitors, Cardiff, October 2009.
" Leo was an intelligent man who didn’t suffer fools. He was quick minded yet also contemplative. A rare combination that gave him a lot of presence. He wore the largest ring on his finger that I had ever seen and told me stories that I could not dare repeat."