Model for Wellington Monument: Truth and Falsehood thumbnail 1
Model for Wellington Monument: Truth and Falsehood thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 22, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

Model for Wellington Monument: Truth and Falsehood

Model
1867-8 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.

In this work Truth tears out the double tongue of Falsehood and pushes aside the mask concealing his grotesque features. His serpent-tails are exposed beneath the drapery. The entire monument comprised a triumphal arch with the bier and recumbent effigy of Wellington. The colossal figures of Truth and Falsehood and Valour and Cowardice were placed at either side. The monument was not completed until 1912, almost 40 years after the death of the sculptor.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Plaster
Brief Description
Model, plaster, model for Wellington Monument: Truth and Falsehood, by Alfred Stevens, England, designed 1857, made ca. 1866
Physical Description
Model. Portion of the design for the monument to F.M. the Duke of Wellington. This is a full-size model for the bronze group of Truth and Falsehood on the Wellington monument, The group depicts Truth pulling out the tongue of Falsehood and pushes aside the mask concealing his grotesque features. His serpent-tails are exposed beneath the drapery.
Dimensions
  • Height: 228cm
Object history
Purchased from Alfred Pegler, Esq., Maybush Lodge, Old Shirley, Southampton, together with cat. nos. 577 and 581 in 1878 for £150.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.



In this work Truth tears out the double tongue of Falsehood and pushes aside the mask concealing his grotesque features. His serpent-tails are exposed beneath the drapery. The entire monument comprised a triumphal arch with the bier and recumbent effigy of Wellington. The colossal figures of Truth and Falsehood and Valour and Cowardice were placed at either side. The monument was not completed until 1912, almost 40 years after the death of the sculptor.
Bibliographic References
  • List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington Museum acquired in the Year 1878. London, 1879. p.31
  • Stannus, Hugh, Alfred Stevens and his Work. London: The Autotype Co, 1891. pp.19-20, pl. XXXVIII
  • Brown, F.P. London Sculpture Oxford: Pitman, 1934. pp.70, 78
  • Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V & A Publications, 2002. Catalogue number, 578, p.376
  • Physick, J. The Wellington Monument. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1970. pp.72-3. pl. 52-5
  • Read, B. Victorian Sculpture. London: New Haven, 1982. p.29, pl. 20
  • Victoria and Albert Museum Picture Book of the Work of Albert Stevens. London: V&A, 1926. Fig. 4
  • Kenworthy-Browne. Chippendale and his Contemporaries. London: Orbis Books, 1973. p.575, fig 5
  • Beattie, Susan. Alfred Stevens 1817-1875, London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 197543
  • Trusted, M. The Making of Sculpture. The materials and techniques of European sculpture London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2007. pp.158, pl.304
  • Penny, N. Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmoleon Museum III. Oxford: Ashmolean, 1992. p.161
  • Williamson, P, e.d. European Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 1996. pp.176-177
Collection
Accession Number
321A-1878

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record createdAugust 14, 2006
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