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Model - Winged cherub head
  • Winged cherub head
    Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875
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Winged cherub head

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1860 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Transferred from the Tate Gallery

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is the original study for a detail of the bronze frieze of cherubs on the entablature of the monument to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, in St Paul's Cathedral, London. The original competitive sketch model produced by Stevens for the Wellington Monument commission is also in the Museum's collections (inv. no. 44-1878). It is the only one to survive out of a total of 83 submissions. Although Stevens came equal fifth in the competition, 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. This cast is taken from a study by Stevens for one of the bronze figures on the Wellington Monument and is the pendant to another cherub head (Mus. no. A.7-1975).

A sculptor, designer and painter, Alfred Stevens (1817/18-1875) 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.

Physical description

A winged cherub head.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1860 (made)


Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 29 cm

Object history note

Transferred from the Tate Gallery in 1975. Given to the Tate Gallery by Sir Herbert Cook in memory of the former owner, Sir James Knowles through the National Art Collections Fund in 1908. The cast was probably sold at the disposal of Stevens's effects in 1877.

Descriptive line

Model, plaster, winged cherub head, by Alfred Stevens, England,1860

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, p. 379, cat. no. 586
Towndrow, K.R., The works of Alfred Stevens in the Tate Gallery, London, 1050, p. 84
Physick, J., The Wellington Monument, London, 1970, p. 61, 62, pl. 41, 42



Subjects depicted



Sculpture; Architectural fittings


Sculpture Collection

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