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Relief - A Putto holding the Crown and coat of arms of Ireland
  • A Putto holding the Crown and coat of arms of Ireland
    Gibbons, Grinling, born 1648 - died 1721
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A Putto holding the Crown and coat of arms of Ireland

  • Object:

    Relief

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1686 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gibbons, Grinling, born 1648 - died 1721 (maker)
    Quellin, Arnold, born 1653 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Marble

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh, FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.4-1973

  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 24, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, case WWAL

This relief showing a putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Ireland forms a pair with that showing a putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Scotland (Museum no. A.3-1973). The shape, subject and style of both suggest they may have formed part of an altarpiece erected in Whitehall Palace during the short reign of James II, who was a Roman Catholic.
The altarpiece at Whitehall Palace was dismantled following the fire of 1695, and re-erected as the high altar of Westminster Abbey in 1706. In about 1820 it was moved to Burnham-on-Sea, in Somerset. The figurative style of the putti recalls both the surviving fragments from the altarpiece at Burnham-on-Sea, and other known works by Grinling Gibbons and Arnold Quellin.

Although celebrated as a carver of wood sculpture, Gibbons also produced a number of marble church monuments. During the period in which Quellin worked with Gibbons, some important pieces were produced; Quellin had been trained in the Netherlands and was highly skilled as a marble carver. Gibbons may have met him in Amsterdam, where he too probably trained.

Physical description

Relief, marble. A Putto holding the Crown of Ireland. The naked putto, looking towards his left, stands on a leafy mound. He supports with both hands a crown which surmounts a large auricular cartouche. On the cartouche there is a harp.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1686 (made)

Artist/maker

Gibbons, Grinling, born 1648 - died 1721 (maker)
Quellin, Arnold, born 1653 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Marble

Dimensions

Height: 95.6 cm, Width: 69.2 cm

Object history note

Bought together with A.3-1973 from Peter Hone, 110 Islington High Street, London, N1, for £600, using funds from the Hildburgh bequest.

Descriptive line

Relief, marble, Putto holding the crown and coat of arms of Ireland, style of Arnold Quellin or Grinling Gibbons, England, about 1686

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bilbey, Diane with Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum., London, 2002, pp. 11, cat. no. 13.

Materials

Marble

Subjects depicted

Crown; Harp; Putto

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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