The Albert Memorial, directly north of the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington Gardens, London, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband Prince Albert, who died in 1861. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic Revival style, it takes the form of an ornate canopy or pavilion 176 feet (54 m) tall, in the style of a Gothic ciborium over the high altar of a church, sheltering a statue of the prince facing south. It took over ten years to complete, the £120,000 cost (the equivalent of about £10,000,000 in 2010) met by public subscription.
The Albert Memorial from the south side
|Location||Kensington Gardens, London|
When Prince Albert died on 14 December 1861, at the age of 42, the thoughts of those in government and public life turned to the form and shape of a suitable memorial, with several possibilities, such as establishing a university or international scholarships, being mentioned. Queen Victoria, however, soon made it clear that she desired a memorial "in the common sense of the word". The initiative was taken by the Lord Mayor of London, William Cubitt, who, at a meeting on 14 January 1862, appointed a committee to raise funds for a design to be approved by the Queen. The control and future course of the project, though, moved away from Mansion House, and ended up being controlled by people close to the Queen, rather than the Mayor. Those who determined the overall direction from that point on were the Queen's secretary, General Charles Grey, and the keeper of the privy purse, Sir Charles Phipps. Later, following the deaths of Grey and Phipps, their roles were taken on by Sir Henry Ponsonby and Sir Thomas Biddulph. Eventually, a four-man steering committee was established, led by Sir Charles Lock Eastlake. Eastlake had overall control for the project until his death in 1865. An initial proposal for an obelisk memorial failed, and this was followed in May 1862 by the appointment of a seven-strong committee of architects. A range of designs were submitted and examined. Two of the designs (those by Philip Charles Hardwick and George Gilbert Scott) were passed to the Queen in February 1863 for a final decision to be made. Two months later, after lengthy deliberations and negotiations with the government over the costs of the memorial, Scott's design was formally approved in April 1863.
The popularity of the Prince Consort led to the creation of several "Albert Memorials" around the United Kingdom. The Kensington memorial was not the earliest; the first to be erected was Thomas Worthington's Albert Memorial in Albert Square, Manchester, unveiled in 1865. Both memorials present the figure of Prince Albert enclosed within a Gothic ciborium, and the similarities of design have been remarked on.
There is some controversy as to whether the memorial in Manchester was influenced by the publication of Scott's design, or whether Scott was himself inspired by Worthington's design, or whether both architects decided on their canopy designs independently.
Worthington's design was published in The Builder on 27 September 1862, before Scott's final design was unveiled. However, writing in his Recollections, Gilbert Scott suggested his own design was original:
My idea in designing the Memorial was to erect a kind of ciborium to protect a statue of the Prince; and its special characteristic was that the ciborium was designed in some degree on the principles of the ancient shrines. These shrines were models of imaginary buildings, such as had never in reality been erected; and my idea was to realise one of these imaginary structures with its precious materials, its inlaying, its enamels, etc. etc. ... this was an idea so new as to provoke much opposition.
The Albert Memorial was not the first revivalist design for a canopied statue in a Gothic style – the Scott Monument in Edinburgh had been designed by George Meikle Kemp over twenty years earlier, and may itself have influenced Worthington's designs for Manchester.
The commission to make the seated figure of Prince Albert for the memorial was initially given to Baron Carlo Marochetti, a favourite sculptor of Queen Victoria. However, his first version was rejected by the architect of the monument, Sir George Gilbert Scott, and Marochetti died in late 1867, before a satisfactory second version could be completed. In May 1868, John Henry Foley, sculptor of the monument's Asia group was commissioned to make the portrait, and his sketch model approved in December of that year. A full-sized model was placed on the monument in 1870, and the design approved by the Queen. The final statue was cast in bronze by Henry Prince and Company, of Southwark; Foley died in August 1874 before casting was complete.
The gilt bronze statue was ceremonially "seated" in 1875, three years after the memorial opened. Albert is shown looking south, towards the Royal Albert Hall from which the architectural form of the memorial as a whole should not be considered as being intentionally isolated, it having a particular connection as a result of the location, relating to the 'World's Fair' in which the Prince was directly involved and as shown in the contemporary maps of the Ordnance Survey, including in particular the still continuing element known as the 'Battle of the Scales' (metric and imperial scales), there being a further statue of the Prince at the south side of the Royal Albert Hall.Template:Claify In this connection his statue holds a catalogue of the Great Exhibition, and is robed as a Knight of the Garter.
The central part of the memorial is surrounded by the elaborate sculptural Frieze of Parnassus (named after Mount Parnassus, the favorite resting place for the Greek muses), which depicts 169 individual composers, architects, poets, painters, and sculptors. Musicians and poets were placed on the south side, with painters on the east side, sculptors on the west side, and architects on the north side. Henry Hugh Armstead carved the figures on the south and east side, the painters, musicians and poets (80 in total), and grouped them by national schools. John Birnie Philip carved the figures on the west and north side, the sculptors and architects, and arranged them in chronological order.
At the corners of the central area, and at the corners of the outer area, there are two allegorical sculpture programs: four groups depicting Victorian industrial arts and sciences (agriculture, commerce, engineering and manufacturing), and four more groups representing Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe at the four corners, each continent-group including several ethnographic figures and a large animal. (A camel for Africa, a bison for the Americas, an elephant for Asia and a bull for Europe.)
The form of the monument "is clearly derived" from the Gothic Scaliger Tombs outside a church in Verona, The mosaics for each side and beneath the canopy of the Memorial were designed by Clayton and Bell and manufactured by the firm of Salviati from Murano, Venice.
The memorial's canopy features several mosaics as external and internal decorative artworks. Each of the four external mosaics show a central allegorical figure of the four arts (poetry, painting, architecture and sculpture), supported by two historical figures either side. The historical figures are: King David and Homer (POESIS – poetry), Apelles and Raphael (painting), Solomon and Ictinus (architecture), and Phidias and Michelangelo (sculpture). Materials used in the mosaics include enamel, polished stone, agate, onyx, jasper, cornelian, crystal, marble, and granite.
Around the canopy, below its cornice, is a dedicatory legend split into four parts, one for each side. The legend reads: Queen Victoria And Her People • To The Memory Of Albert Prince Consort • As A Tribute Of Their Gratitude • For A Life Devoted to the Public Good.
The pillars and niches of the canopy feature eight statues representing the practical arts and sciences: Astronomy, Geology, Chemistry, Geometry (on the four pillars) and Rhetoric, Medicine, Philosophy and Physiology (in the four niches).
Near the top of the canopy's tower are eight statues of the moral and Christian virtues, including the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues. The virtues are: Faith, Hope, Charity and Humility, and Fortitude, Prudence, Justice and Temperance. Humility is considered to be annexed to the virtue of temperance. Above these, towards the top of tower, are gilded angels raising their arms heavenwards. At the very top of the tower is a gold cross.
Below the Memorial is a large undercroft, consisting of numerous brick arches, which serves as the foundation that supports the large weight of the stone and metal used to build the monument.
The memorial was planned by a committee of architects led by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The other architects, some of whom died during the course of the project, or were replaced, included Carlo Marochetti, Thomas Leverton Donaldson, William Tite, Sydney Smirke, James Pennethorne, Matthew Digby Wyatt, Philip C. Hardwick, William Burn and Edward Middleton Barry.
The sculptor Henry Hugh Armstead coordinated this massive effort among many artists of the Royal Academy, including Thomas Thornycroft (carved the "Commerce" group), Patrick MacDowell (carved the "Europe" group, his last major work), John Bell (carved the "America" group), John Henry Foley (carved the "Asia" group and started the statue of Albert), William Theed (carved the "Africa" group), William Calder Marshall, James Redfern (carved the four Christian and four moral virtues including Fortitude), John Lawlor (carved the "Engineering" group) and Henry Weekes (carved the "Manufactures" group). The Scottish sculptor William Calder Marshall carved the "Agriculture" group. The figure of Albert himself, although started by Foley, was completed by Thomas Brock, in what was Brock's first major work.
Armstead created some 80 of the figure sculptures on the southern and eastern sides of the memorial's podium. The north and west sides were carved by the sculptor John Birnie Philip. Armstead also sculpted the bronze statues representing Astronomy, Chemistry, Rhetoric, and Medicine.
Henry Weekes carved the allegorical work Manufactures (1864–70). Although Weekes was not on Queen Victoria's original list of sculptors, being selected to work on the project only after John Gibson declined to participate, his group occupies the preferable south side of the finished monument. A central female figure holds an hourglass, symbolising the critical nature of time to industry, while an ironworker stands at his anvil and a potter and weaver offer their wares.
By the late 1990s the Memorial had fallen into a state of some decay. A thorough restoration was carried out by Mowlem which included cleaning, repainting, and re-gilding the entire monument as well as carrying out structural repairs. In the process the cross on top of the monument, which had been put on sideways during an earlier restoration attempt, was returned to its correct position. Some of the restoration, including repairs to damaged friezes, were of limited success.
The centrepiece of the Memorial is a seated figure of Prince Albert. Following restoration, this is now covered in gold leaf. For eighty years the statue had been covered in black paint. Various theories had existed that it was deliberately blackened during World War I to prevent it becoming a target for Zeppelin bombing raids or domestic anti-German sentiment. However, English Heritage's research prior to the restoration suggests that the black coating pre-dates 1914 and may have been a response to atmospheric pollution that had destroyed the original gold leaf surface. Further restoration work, including re-pointing the steps surrounding the memorial, commenced in the summer of 2006.
Public afternoon tours are held on the first Sunday each month allowing visitors a closer look at the Frieze of Parnassus.
The Albert Memorial Bridge is a beam bridge that spans across the north and south banks of Wascana Creek along Albert Street
in Regina, Saskatchewan. This functional war memorial is 256 metres (840 feet) long and 22 metres (72 feet) wide.Albert Memorial Clock, Belfast
The Albert Memorial Clock (more commonly referred to as the Albert Clock) is a clock tower situated at Queen's Square in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was completed in 1869 and is one of the best known landmarks of Belfast.Albert Square, Manchester
Albert Square is a public square in the centre of Manchester, England.
It is dominated by its largest building, the Grade I listed Manchester Town Hall, a Victorian Gothic building by Alfred Waterhouse. Other smaller buildings from the same period surround it, many of which are listed (the buildings on the north side are in Princess Street).
The square contains a number of monuments and statues, the largest of which is the Albert Memorial, a monument to Prince Albert, Prince consort of Queen Victoria. The square, named after the Prince, was laid out to provide a space for the memorial in 1863–67. Work on the town hall began in 1868 and was completed in 1877.Albertopolis
Albertopolis is the nickname given to the area centred on Exhibition Road in London, named after Prince Albert, spouse of Queen Victoria. It contains a large number of educational and cultural sites. It is in South Kensington, split between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster (the border running along Imperial College Road), and the area bordered by Cromwell Road to the south and Kensington Road to the north.Frieze of Parnassus
The Frieze of Parnassus is a large sculpted stone frieze encircling the podium, or base, of the Albert Memorial in London, England. The Albert Memorial was constructed in the 1860s in memory of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.
The frieze is named after Mount Parnassus, the favorite resting place in Ancient Greek mythology for the muses. It contains 169 life-size full-length sculptures, a mixture of low-relief and high-relief, of individual composers, architects, poets, painters, and sculptors from history. The depictions of earlier figures necessarily, were imaginary, although many of the figures were based on materials contained in a collection of artworks and drawings gathered for the purpose of ensuring authentic depictions, where this was possible.
The total length of the frieze is approximately 64 metres (210 feet). The frieze was intended to be the 'soul' of the memorial, and the memorial's designer, George Gilbert Scott, stated that he was inspired by the Hémicycle des Beaux Arts by Paul Delaroche. The memorial was not laid out precisely to directions of the compass, however, closely enough that the sides are referred to by direction. Musicians and poets were placed on the south side, with painters on the east side, sculptors on the west side, and architects on the north side.
Henry Hugh Armstead carved the figures on the south and east sides, the painters, musicians, and poets (80 in total), and grouped them by national schools. John Birnie Philip carved the figures on the west and north sides, the sculptors and architects (89 named figures, plus two generic figures), and arranged them in chronological order.
The carving was executed in situ, and was said by Scott to be "perhaps one of the most laborious works of sculpture ever undertaken". The initial contracts, agreed around 1864, had specified that the work was to be completed in four years for £7,781 15s. The eventual cost, however, exceeded this by some £2,000 and the work was not finished until 1872.
Large groups of figures of eminent persons from the past often decorate public buildings and monuments of the later nineteenth century, and some buildings such as the Walhalla temple in Bavaria and the Panthéon in Paris were dedicated to this purpose. Many figures of visual artists decorate the Victoria and Albert Museum close to the Albert Memorial at the other end of the "Albertopolis" complex. A mosaic frieze of more generalised figures from the arts runs round the circular Royal Albert Hall adjacent to the memorial. The Parnassus by Raphael (1511), opposite the philosophers of The School of Athens in the Vatican Raphael Rooms, is an earlier group portrait of great artists.George Gilbert Scott
Sir George Gilbert Scott (13 July 1811 – 27 March 1878), styled Sir Gilbert Scott, was a prolific English Gothic revival architect, chiefly associated with the design, building and renovation of churches and cathedrals, although he started his career as a leading designer of workhouses. Over 800 buildings were designed or altered by him.Scott was the architect of many iconic buildings, including the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station, the Albert Memorial, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, all in London, St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, the main building of the University of Glasgow, St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh and King's College London Chapel.John Henry Foley
John Henry Foley (24 May 1818 in Dublin – 27 August 1874 in London), often referred to as J. H. Foley, was an Irish sculptor, working in London. he is best known for his statues of Daniel O'Connell in Dublin, and of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial in London.Kensington
Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, West London, England.
The district's commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east-west axis. The north east is taken up by Kensington Gardens, containing the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and Speke's monument. South Kensington is home to Imperial College London, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Albert Hall. The area is also home to many European embassies.Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, are among the Royal Parks of London. The gardens are shared by the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and sit immediately to the west of Hyde Park, in western central London. The gardens cover an area of 270 acres. The open spaces of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park, and St. James's Park together form an almost continuous "green lung" in the heart of London. Kensington Gardens are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.Kensington Gore
Kensington Gore is the name of two thoroughfares on the south side of Hyde Park in central London, England. The streets connect the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal College of Art, the Royal Geographical Society and in Kensington Gardens the Albert Memorial. The area is named after the Gore estate which occupied the site until it was developed by Victorian planners in the mid 19th century. A gore is a narrow, triangular piece of land, in this case
the wedge-shaped piece of land which divides them, and which has been known from Anglo-Saxon times as The Gore.List of public art in Kensington Gardens
This is a list of public art in Kensington Gardens, one of the Royal Parks of London.
When the contemporary sculptor Anish Kapoor held an exhibition of his work in the gardens in 2010 he remarked that they are "the best site in London for a piece of art, probably [the best] in the world".List of public art in the City of Westminster
There are more than 400 public artworks in the City of Westminster, a borough in central London. The borough has more public sculpture than any other area of London. This reflects its central location containing most of the West End, the political centres of Westminster and Whitehall and three of the Royal Parks (Green Park, Hyde Park and St James's Park, with parts also of Regent's Park and Kensington Gardens). Many of the most notable sites for commemoration in London are to be found in the City of Westminster, including Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and the Victoria Embankment. Other monuments of note in the borough include the Albert Memorial and the Victoria Memorial. After World War I many memorials to that conflict were raised in the area, the most significant being the Grade I-listed Cenotaph in Whitehall. So great is the number of monuments in the borough that Westminster City Council has deemed an area stretching from Whitehall to St James's to be a "monument saturation zone", where the addition of new memorials is generally discouraged. The same restriction applies in Royal Parks within the borough.Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London, and is one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings. The Hall is a registered charity held in trust for the nation, and receives no public or government funding. It can seat 5,267.
Since the hall's opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from many performance genres have appeared on its stage. It is the venue for some of the most notable events in British culture, in particular the Proms concerts, which have been held there every summer since 1941. It is host to more than 390 shows in the main auditorium annually, including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with live orchestral accompaniment, sports, awards ceremonies, school and community events, and charity performances and banquets. A further 400 events are held each year in the non-auditorium spaces.
The hall was originally supposed to have been called the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences, but the name was changed to the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences by Queen Victoria upon laying the Hall's foundation stone in 1867, in memory of her husband, Prince Albert, who had died six years earlier. It forms the practical part of a memorial to the Prince Consort; the decorative part is the Albert Memorial directly to the north in Kensington Gardens, now separated from the Hall by Kensington Gore.Royal Albert Memorial Museum
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) is a museum and art gallery in Exeter, Devon, the largest in the city. It holds significant and diverse collections in areas such as zoology, anthropology, fine art, local and overseas archaeology, and geology. Altogether the museum holds over one million objects, of which a small percentage is on permanent public display. It is a 'Major Partner Museum' (MPM) under the Arts Council England administered programme of strategic investment, which means RAMM receives funding (2012–15) to develop its services. RAMM receives this funding in partnership with Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery. Previously they were described as 'hub museums' under the 'Renaissance' Programme for regional museums which operated between 2002–11 and funded by the now defunct Museums Libraries & Archives Council (MLA).
Founded in 1868, the museum is housed in a Gothic Revival building of local New Red Sandstone that has undergone several extensions during its history; most recently, the museum was re-opened in December 2011 after a redevelopment lasting four years and costing £24M. Since its re-opening the museum has received several awards.Salviati (glassmakers)
A family called Salviati were glass makers and mosaicists in Murano, Venice and also in London, working as the firm Salviati, Jesurum & Co. of 213 Regent Street, London; also as Salviati and Co. and later (after 1866) as the Venice and Murano Glass and Mosaic Company (Today Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano). In 1898 the company's new London premises at 235 Regent Street (now the Apple Store) incorporated a set of mosaic armorials along the façade which are still visible today and were restored in 1999.
The company was founded by Dr Antonio Salviati, a lawyer from Vicenza in Northern Italy.
Many famous mosaics were made by Salviati and the company's various historical name changes are well documented
the Central Lobby of the House of Parliament (Palace of Westminster), London
the Paris Opera House
the Albert Memorial
Westminster's Altar Screen
the Council House, Birmingham
the Chamberlain Memorial, Birmingham.
St David's Cathedral in Wales.
St Paul's Cathedral, London
Ajuda National Palace, Lisbon.The company was later acquired in 1999 by the French glassmaker that would later be known as Arc International.
In World War II, the Salviati building on the Grand Canal in Venice was occupied by the Nazis and used as a Nazi Headquarters. The Camerino family fled the Holocaust to various locations throughout the world including the UK, USA, Israel, and South Africa.St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, is a chapel designed in the high-medieval Gothic style. It is both a Royal Peculiar, a church under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch, and the Chapel of the Order of the Garter. Seating approximately 800, it is located in the Lower Ward of the castle.
St. George's castle chapel was established in the 14th century by King Edward III and began extensive enlargement in the late 15th century. It has been the location of many royal ceremonies, weddings and burials. Windsor Castle is a principal residence for Queen Elizabeth II.
The day-to-day running of the Chapel is the responsibility of the Dean and Canons of Windsor who make up the religious College of St George, which is directed by a Chapter of the Dean and four Canons, assisted by a Clerk, Virger (traditional spelling of verger) and other staff. The Society of the Friends of St George's and Descendants of the Knights of the Garter, a registered charity, was established in 1931 to assist the College in maintaining the Chapel.The Young Doctors
The Young Doctors is an Australian early-evening soap opera originally broadcast on the Nine Network from Monday, 8 November 1976 until Wednesday, 30 March 1983. The series is set in the fictional Albert Memorial Hospital and is primarily concerned with romances between younger members of the hospital staff, rather than typical medical issues and procedures. The program was shown in numerous international locations, throughout the United Kingdom and North America, and also in France and Spain.University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public research university in Exeter, Devon, South West England, United Kingdom. It was founded and received its Royal Charter in 1955, although its predecessor institutions, St Luke's College, Exeter School of Science, Exeter School of Art, and the Camborne School of Mines were established in 1838, 1855, 1863, and 1888 respectively. In post-nominals, the University of Exeter is abbreviated as Exon. (from the Latin Exoniensis), and is the suffix given to honorary and academic degrees from the university.
The university has four campuses: Streatham and St Luke's (both of which are in Exeter); and Truro and Penryn (both of which are in Cornwall). The university is primarily located in the city of Exeter, Devon, where it is the principal higher education institution. Streatham is the largest campus containing many of the university's administrative buildings, and is regarded as the most beautiful in the country. The Penryn campus is maintained in conjunction with Falmouth University under the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Exeter Streatham Campus Library holds more than 1.2 million physical library resources, including historical journals and special collections.Exeter was named the Sunday Times University of the Year in 2013 and was the Times Higher Education University of the Year in 2007. It has maintained a top ten position in the National Student Survey since the survey was launched in 2005. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £415.5 million of which £76.1 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £414.2 million.Exeter is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities and is also a member of Universities UK, the European University Association, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities and an accredited institution of the Association of MBAs (AMBA).Victoria Memorial, London
The Victoria Memorial is a monument to Queen Victoria, located at the end of The Mall in London, and designed and executed by the sculptor (Sir) Thomas Brock. Designed in 1901, it was unveiled on 16 May 1911, though it was not completed until 1924. It was the centrepiece of an ambitious urban planning scheme, which included the creation of the Queen’s Gardens to a design by Sir Aston Webb, and the refacing of Buckingham Palace (which stands behind the memorial) by the same architect.
Like the earlier Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, commemorating Victoria's consort, the Victoria Memorial has an elaborate scheme of iconographic sculpture. The central pylon of the memorial is of Pentelic marble, and individual statues are in Lasa marble and gilt bronze. The memorial weighs 2,300 tonnes and is 104 ft wide. In 1970 it was listed at Grade I.
Key: No longer in situ (see List of public art formerly in London)