Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Bishop Saint

Sir Alfred Gilbert RA (1854-1934)
A Bishop Saint
Model for the tomb of Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, at Windsor
Ivory, bronze, copper and glass beads
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Of this piece, the Museum website states:

“This is a prime example of Gilbert's experimental working methods. The central core is a discarded bronze torso from another statuette. To this he has added a painted ivory head, a bronze cope studded with glass beads and a copper mitre. Though meant as a model for a tomb figure, it was sold as an independent work.”

Sir Alfred Gilbert (12 August 1854 – 4 November 1934) was an English sculptor and goldsmith and was one of the main figures in the New Sculpture movement

Prominent in his work is a decorative aesthetic and elements of fantasy, which he uses to explore the Symbolist themes of fate, love, and death

Amongst his best known works are: the memorial to Anthony Ashley-Cooper, earl of Shaftesbury, in the form of a fountain surmounted by the figure of Eros (1885–93; Piccadilly Circus, London), and the polychromed, mixed media tomb of Prince Albert Victor, duke of Clarence (1892–1928; Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor Castle).

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (Albert Victor Christian Edward; 8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892) was the eldest son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). He did not become king because he predeceased his father and his grandmother, Queen Victoria

The prince fell ill with influenza in the great influenza pandemic of 1889–1892. He developed pneumonia and died at Sandringham House in Norfolk on 14 January 1892, less than a week after his 28th birthday

The Prince is buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel close to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

The tomb designed by Gilbert , is magnificent A recumbent effigy of the Prince in a Hussar uniform lies above the tomb. Kneeling over him is an angel, holding a heavenly crown. The tomb is surrounded by an elaborate railing, with figures of saints

See images of the chapel below: