The ALBERT MEMORIAL is situated in
The memorial has been Grade I listed since 1970.
* 1 Commission and design
* 2 Architectural influences
* 3 Statue of Albert
Frieze of Parnassus
COMMISSION AND DESIGN
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
The Albert Memorial,
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.
STATUE OF ALBERT
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
FRIEZE OF PARNASSUS
Frieze of Parnassus
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 Armsteadcarved the figures on the south and east side, the painters, musicians and poets (80 in total), and grouped them by national schools. John Birnie Philipcarved 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
"Agriculture" group by William Calder Marshall *
"Commerce" group by Thomas Thornycroft *
"Engineering" group by John Lawlor *
"Manufactures" group by Henry Weekes *
"Africa" group by William Theed *
"America" group by John Bell *
"Asia" group by John Henry Foleyhttps://www.flickr.com/gp/70954345@N00/g9vK76 *
"Europe" group by Patrick MacDowell
The form of the monument "is clearly derived" from the Gothic
Scaliger Tombsoutside a church in
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:
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:
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.
View of the internal mosaics and the cornicing *
Statues of the Virtues on the canopy tower
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
Henry Hugh Armsteadcoordinated this massive effort
among many artists of the
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 Weekescarved 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 Mowlemwhich 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
Public afternoon tours are held on the first Sunday each month allowing visitors a closer look at the Frieze of Parnassus.
The railings after the restoration *
Reconstruction of the memorial in 2013
* List of public art in Kensington Gardens