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Model - Equestrian statue for the Wellington Monument at Hyde Park Corner
  • Equestrian statue for the Wellington Monument at Hyde Park Corner
    Boehm, Joseph Edgar Sir, born 1834 - died 1890
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Equestrian statue for the Wellington Monument at Hyde Park Corner

  • Object:

    Model

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1885 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Boehm, Joseph Edgar Sir, born 1834 - died 1890 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster

  • Credit Line:

    Boehm Bequest

  • Museum number:

    1798-1892

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This equestrian statue of Wellington was made by the sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm in ca. 1885. The monument to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington at Hyde Park Corner, was unveiled on 21st December 1888 by the Prince of Wales. The monument was commissioned as part of the re-design of Hyde Park Corner which had begun in 1883.

Boehm (1834-1890) was an English sculptor and medallist born in Austrian, as the youngest son of Joseph Daniel Boehm (1794–1865), a court medallist and director of the Imperial Mint at Vienna. From 1848 to 1851 Joseph Edgar attended Leigh’s art academy (later Heatherley’s) in London and drew the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum. On his return to Vienna he enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. Around 1858–9 he visited Italy, where he developed a lasting admiration for early Renaissance sculpture. From 1859 to 1862 he worked in Paris and was influenced by the work of Paul Gayrard (1807–1855). Boehm settled in London in 1862 where he befriended John Leech and John Everett Millais, both of whom he portrayed in statuettes in 1863. A statuette of William Makepeace Thackeray (1864) led to an edition of 70 plaster casts. Boehm frequently worked in terracotta, a material common in French sculpture but less familiar in English. Queen Victoria’s admiration of Boehm’s statuettes led to an association with the royal family that lasted from 1869 until his death. Most of Boehm’s works are portrait busts. Boehm was immensely prolific: some 360 different works are documented. He was a highly consistent sculptor, rarely deviating from his brand of realism. He was modest about his immense popularity and aware of his imaginative shortcomings (cit.: M. Stocker: 'Boehm, Joseph Edgar').

Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), later the 1st Duke of Wellington, was Britain's greatest military commander. His brilliant tactics and leadership brought about major victories over the French in the Peninsular War of 1808-1814 and, most famously, at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. The Duke then became a politician (Prime Minister from 1828-1830) and distinguished elder statesman. In gratitude for his defeat of Napoleon, European sovereigns showered the Duke with spectacular gifts, notably paintings, porcelain and silver. These form the core of the art collection still at his London home, Apsley House on Hyde Park Corner. The house was originally designed by Robert Adam but was enlarged for the Duke by Benjamin Dean Wyatt. It was presented to the Nation with its contents in 1947, the family retaining apartments.

Physical description

Plaster model. Design for the equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington on the monument at Hyde Park Corner.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1885 (made)

Artist/maker

Boehm, Joseph Edgar Sir, born 1834 - died 1890 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster

Dimensions

Height: 137 cm, Length: 56 in

Object history note

Given by the executors of the late Sir J.E. Boehm, Bart., R.A. in 1892.

Descriptive line

Model, plaster, Equestrian Statue for the Wellington Monument, by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, England, 1885

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

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1892. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1893. pp. 225
Bilbey, Diane with Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V& A Publications, 2002, pp. 211-2, cat. no. 309
Stocker. M. Royalist and Realist. The Life and Work of Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. New York and London. 1988. pp. 416. no. 274A. illus 156.
Physick, J. The Wellington Monument. 1970. pp. 17-19

Materials

Plaster

Categories

Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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