SALISBURY Cathedral has boosted its growing reputation for visual art by displaying a sculpture by one of Britain’s most esteemed sculptors, Lynn Chadwick.

The artwork went on show in the Cathedral Close on Monday.

This year is the centenary of Lynn Chadwick’s birth and a number of significant exhibitions have taken place around the world to recognise his international standing.

Cloaked Figure IX is one of the best known sculptures from his famous series of walking and standing cloaked figures created in the 1970s when he was at the height of his fame.

Jacquiline Creswell, visual arts advisor for the cathedral, said: “Cloaked Figure IX, has enormous presence. She evokes images of cardinals and other ecclesiastic figures as she makes her way majestically toward the huge west doors of the cathedral.

“ It is an implied movement, her enveloping, protective cloak swept behind with her pyramidal head held high, surveying her new surroundings.”

“This life-size entity in the Close will be a new member in our rolling arts programme and we are looking forward to opportunities to use this distinctive sculpture as a focus for community engagement.”

Cloaked Figure IX will be in excellent company. Already on display are Helaine Blumenfeld’s Angels: Harmony on Choristers’ Green, Elizabeth Frink’s Walking Madonna in the churchyard and Emily Young’s Angel Head in the cloister garth.

Chairman of Salisbury Cathedral’s arts advisory committee, Canon Treasurer Sarah Mullally said: “In this piece Chadwick demonstrates his enormous skills as a welder and artist using a metal skin fixed over a skeleton of steel rods to give this figure its form.

“As it moves toward the cathedral our sense of place is challenged and its presence encourages us to examine our relationship not just with the figure but with others we find around us.”

The sculpture is on long-term loan from the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London.