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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E , Case H, Shelf 13

Design

1733 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This design by William Kent is for a monument to James, 1st Earl Stanhope (1674-1721), which stands within the choir screen in the nave of Westminster Abbey. Stanhope enjoyed a distinguished military and political career, including positions as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State. The monument was erected in Westminster Abbey more than a decade after his death.

Sculptures known to have been designed by Kent are relatively few but are accorded positions of great prominence. In Westminster Abbey Kent designed the monuments to Newton and Earl Stanhope (both carved by John Michael Rysbrack) and to Shakespeare (carved by Peter Scheemakers) and received substantial fees for doing so. Vertue records that Kent was paid the large sum of £50 for supplying the design for this monument. Kent also designed the figures of Palladio and Inigo Jones (carved by Rysbrack) for the entrance front of Lord Burlington's Chiswick House. It is, therefore, possible that he may have designed sculptures for other locations.

Object details

Object type
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Design for the monument to James, 1st Earl Stanhope (1674- 1721), by William Kent
Physical description
A pen, ink and wash design drawing for a monument to James, Earl Stanhope. The monument depicts Stanhope reclining in Roman costume atop a sarcophagus with an illegible inscription. At the base of the monument there are four medallions and further illegible inscriptions. Attached to the top of the sheet is an alternative design for the apex of the monument, depicting a seated female figure variously identified as Bellona, Minerva, or Victory. The drawing is inscribed with scale in feet.
Dimensions
  • Whole sheet height: 39.4cm
  • Whole sheet width: 26.7cm
Marks and inscriptions
Inscribed with scale in feet.
Subject depicted
Place depicted
Summary
This design by William Kent is for a monument to James, 1st Earl Stanhope (1674-1721), which stands within the choir screen in the nave of Westminster Abbey. Stanhope enjoyed a distinguished military and political career, including positions as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State. The monument was erected in Westminster Abbey more than a decade after his death.

Sculptures known to have been designed by Kent are relatively few but are accorded positions of great prominence. In Westminster Abbey Kent designed the monuments to Newton and Earl Stanhope (both carved by John Michael Rysbrack) and to Shakespeare (carved by Peter Scheemakers) and received substantial fees for doing so. Vertue records that Kent was paid the large sum of £50 for supplying the design for this monument. Kent also designed the figures of Palladio and Inigo Jones (carved by Rysbrack) for the entrance front of Lord Burlington's Chiswick House. It is, therefore, possible that he may have designed sculptures for other locations.

Associated object
Bibliographic reference
Mowl, Timothy, William Kent: Architect, Designer, Opportunist, (London, 2006), p. 111; 211.
Collection
Accession number
8933:257

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Record createdOctober 7, 2008
Record URL
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