Not currently on display at the V&A

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Bust
1950 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This bronze bust, made after Alfred Stevens, was commissioned in 1950 by the Trustees of the Tate Gallery and was cast after the equestrian statue on the Wellington Monument.

A sculptor, designer and painter, Alfred Stevens rejected contemporary distinctions between fine art and design. From 1850 to 1857 he was chief designer to Hoole & Co., Sheffield, where he produced award-winning designs for metalwork, majolica, terracotta ornaments and chimney-pieces. Perhaps his two greatest works were the decorations for the dining-room at Dorchester House, London (about 1856), for which he made countless drawings inspired by the Italian High Renaissance style, in particular the work of Michelangelo and the monument to the Duke of Wellington for St Paul's Cathedral, London, which was completed after his death. The two allegorical groups from this monument made a lasting impact on the New Sculpture movement.
The influence of the Italian Renaissance is evident in much of Steven's work, and is perhaps best reflected in the Wellington monument.

Although Stevens came equal fifth in the competition for the Wellington monument, the winner being the Scots sculptor William Calder Marshall (1813-1894), he was eventually given the commission as his design was felt to be more in keeping with the interior of St Paul's.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Bust, bronze, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, after Alfred Stevens, English, 1950 (original from ca. 1866)
Dimensions
  • Height: 31cm
Credit line
Presented by Art Fund
Object history
This bronze bust, made after Alfred Stevens, was commissioned in 1950 by the Trustees of the Tate Gallery and was cast after the plaster for the equestrian statue on the Wellington Monument. Transferred from the Tate Gallery in 1953.
Production
after the original of about 1866
Subject depicted
Summary
This bronze bust, made after Alfred Stevens, was commissioned in 1950 by the Trustees of the Tate Gallery and was cast after the equestrian statue on the Wellington Monument.



A sculptor, designer and painter, Alfred Stevens rejected contemporary distinctions between fine art and design. From 1850 to 1857 he was chief designer to Hoole & Co., Sheffield, where he produced award-winning designs for metalwork, majolica, terracotta ornaments and chimney-pieces. Perhaps his two greatest works were the decorations for the dining-room at Dorchester House, London (about 1856), for which he made countless drawings inspired by the Italian High Renaissance style, in particular the work of Michelangelo and the monument to the Duke of Wellington for St Paul's Cathedral, London, which was completed after his death. The two allegorical groups from this monument made a lasting impact on the New Sculpture movement.

The influence of the Italian Renaissance is evident in much of Steven's work, and is perhaps best reflected in the Wellington monument.



Although Stevens came equal fifth in the competition for the Wellington monument, the winner being the Scots sculptor William Calder Marshall (1813-1894), he was eventually given the commission as his design was felt to be more in keeping with the interior of St Paul's.

Bibliographic References
  • Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 385, cat. no. 606
  • Droth, Martina, Edwards, Jason, and Hatt, Michael, Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901, exh. cat., YUP, New Haven and London, 2015, pp. 355-357
Collection
Accession Number
A.25-1975

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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