Vertumnus was a nature god who could assume any shape, and is here shown wooing the nymph Pomona. He gained her presence by disguising himself as an old woman, and proceeded to plea his cause. When this failed, he revealed his true identity as a youthful god; he is shown here having just removed his mask.
This is a full-size model for one of the groups on the bronze monument to the Duke of Wellington in St Paul's Cathedral - a work that occupied much of Steven's career and was only completed in 1912. Here Valour crushes Cowardice, while another group (also uploaded on Scan The World) shows Truth silencing Falsehood. After a long selection process, the little-known sculptor Alfred Stevens was awarded the commission to produce a monument to the Duke of Wellington. He had already produced a reduced version of his intended monument as his competition model in 1857. This model is also in the Museum's collections (Museum no. 44-1878). This group and its companion depicting Truth and Falsehood (Museum no. 321A-1878) are full-size models for the bronze groups featured on the Wellington monument in St Paul's Cathedral. They were not completed by Stevens until 1866. In this work the draped female figure of Valour triumphantly crushes the struggling figure of Cowardice beneath a shield.
After a long selection process, the little-known sculptor Alfred Stevens was awarded the commission to produce a monument to the Duke of Wellington. He had already produced a reduced version of his intended monument as his competition model in 1857. This model is also in the Museum's collections (Museum no. 44-1878). This group and its companion depicting Valour and Cowardice (Museum no. 321B-1878) are full-size models for the bronze groups featured on the Wellington monument in St Paul's Cathedral. They were not completed by Stevens until 1866.
Thomas Mansel Talbot (1747-1813), shown here with a bare chest and long hair, was a wealthy Welsh landowner. he went on the Grand Tour from 1770 to 1775 and commissioned this bust at a cost of £68 from the Irish sculptor Christopher Hewetson, at the same time as the one of Pope Clement XIV displayed nearby.
The subject of this enigmatic portrait may be Constance, a daughter of the sculptor. James Sherwood Westmacott exhibited a 'Constance' medallion at the Royal Academy in 1872. He was a member of the Westmacott dynasty of sculptors who worked in London in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Toft grew up in Birmingham, and was a modeller for pottery before studying at the Royal College of Art under Professor Lantéri. He was a constant exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1885 to 1947. He was not successful with the art establishment, and was already in his fifties when this 'Bather' was accepted for the Chantrey Collection. He was never even an Associate of the Academy, and his earlier more symbolist sculpture was not acquired by the Tate Gallery.
This is a slightly smaller than life marble sculpture of Vulcan (or Prometheus) chained to a rock; it was sculptued by Claude David who was active throughout the majority of his life (1678 - 1722) created about 1710. An early inventory describes the subject of this sculpture as Prometheus, who is usually depicted chained to a rock and writhing in agony as an eagle (Zeus in bird form) feeds on his liver. However, it may also show Vulcan, the god of fire in classical mythology, with his tools. As a blacksmith he forged weapons for the gods. It was commissioned by Sir Andrew Fountaine for Narfold Hall, Norfolk.
Lead was a favoured material for garden sculpture, as it was relatively inexpensive (this example cost £20), and could be cast in a mould for mass production. Often lead groups were reproductions of famous classical or Renaissance marble groups, but this is an 18th-century composition. Many sculptors reproduced famous classical or Renaissance marble groups, such as the Borghese Gladiator, or the sculpture of Giambologna. Frequently Netherlandish artists, such as Carpenter (and before him John Nost, a native of the Netherlands) were responsible for the casting, as they had developed the necessary skills in Europe.
John Raphael Smith (1751-1812) helped Chantrey establish his career in London. A famous printmaker and print publisher, he went deaf in old age. Chantrey said that the expression of deafness was conveyed mainly by the mouth: 'If you observe a deaf man's mouth, you will always find the lips unclosed when he is attending to you'.
This marble figure depicts Eve listening to the voice of Satan in the garden of Eden, presumably before eating the sacred apple. Sculpted by Edward Hodges Bailey in 1842 this modern piece was inspired by John Milton's poem, Paradise Lost and the sculpture 'Nymph With a Shell' at the Louvre, Paris.
Thetis, a sea nymph, dips her newly born son, Achilles, into the River Styx. She hoped the sacred waters would protect him, but Achilles was eventually killed when an arrow struck his heel, the one part of his body left vulnerable. The heads of Thetis and Achilles are portraits of the client's wife and baby. It was sculpted by Thomas Banks (1735-1805) out of marble in 1790 and stands on the original mahogany plinth. It was commissioned by Colonal Thomas Johnes for the conservatory at Hafod, Cardiganshire.
In Greek mythology Pandora was the first woman on earth. Jupiter gave her a box with a strict instruction not to open it. Nevertheless, she did so and all the evils and misery contained in the box were released upon mankind. This marble sculpture was carved by John Gibson (1790-1866) who spent more of his working life in Rome and was a great admirer of Canova.
Narcissus is shown as a youth returning from a hunt. He stops to look into a pool of water and is mesmerised by his reflection, which he has never seen before. He falls in love with the beautiful image he sees and then cannot stop looking. This may have originally been the centrepiece for a fountain, and therefore shown the figure gazing into an actual pool of water.
This marble sculpture was signed and dated in 1837 by Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1887). Baily made many versions of this theme over the years, even though the first one of 1823 failed to sell and had to be put in a lottery. The mother and child are shown in the guise of a classical goddess and putto.
This is an exceptionally interesting portrait bust, since it is one of the earliest British sculptures made by a woman. It is a copy of a marble portrait bust of Elizabeth Finch by the great 18th-Century sculptor, Louis Francois Roubiliac. Henrietta and Elizabeth Finch were sisters.
Lady Morgain (1778-1859) was a highly successful Irish novelist, whos works championed the dispossessed Catholics and the rights of women. She was less that four feet high and had a slight deformity of the spine and face. Thie bust, commissioned by her from a leading French sculptor (David d'Angers) captures her lively and determined personality.
George Hamilton is also known as the 1st Earl of Orkney. Lord Orkney (1666-1737) was an important military commander, serving as a general under the Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Blenheim. His status as a nobleman and warrior is recorded here through his aristocratic bearing, cropped hair and classical armour. The carving of his face, skin and neck muscles resembles Rysbrack's portrait of Daniel Finch. It was sculpted by John Michael Rysbrack out of marble, dated 1733.
This monument made by Lawrence Macdonald in 1850 is one in a series of dynastic monuments to the Finch family. Lady Winchilsea (1809–1848) died prematurely, and is portrayed in an elegant neo-classical style, the poetic inscription evoking the pathos of her early death. The sculpture was executed by the Scottish sculptor Lawrence Macdonald, who trained in Edinburgh, but spent most of his adult life living and working in Rome. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy in London, and at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. He also showed works at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Prince Albert was one of his patrons, and he executed ideal sculpture for Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. This monument is one of his most highly regarded sculptures, and exemplifies the classicising style in sculpture, which continued well into the mid 19th century.
In 1933 Albert Einstein (1879-1955) had just fled Nazi Germany and was staying briefly in a refugee camp in Britain. Epstein said later that 'his glance contained a mixture of the humane, the humorous, and the profound. This was a combination that delighted me. He resembled the ageing Rembrandt.' The rough surface of the bronze recalls some of Rodin's busts. This bronze sculpture was executed by Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) in 1933, lent by The Tate for the V&A.