Statue   

Frieze of Parnassus - Arne

Albert Memorial & The Frieze of Parnassus Frieze of Parnassus - Arne

Erection date: 1872

Inscription

Arne

Site: Albert Memorial & The Frieze of Parnassus (52 memorials)

SW7, Kensington Road

The monument, commissioned by Queen Victoria and designed by George Gilbert Scott, was built 1864-72, and the statue of Albert was installed in 1875. Even for a Victorian edifice the excess of decoration is extraordinary - we suspect the design suffered mission creep.

On the Frieze of Parnassus are depicted 168 men, 1 woman and two dogs, gender unknown. The woman is Nitocris, a historically questionable pharaoh who, it is claimed, built the third pyramid at Giza.

The men are segregated by field of fame. Reading anticlockwise from the south-west corner: Armstead carved the south and east sides, populated with musicians, poets, musicians, painters, grouped by nationality; Philip carved the north and west sides with architects and sculptors, cleverly arranged chronologically so that the Egyptian architects turn the corner in the same space with Egyptian sculptors.

Remarkably the whole Frieze was carved on site. In the selection of the figures, only one exception to the "must be dead" rule was allowed: George Gilbert Scott himself. Actually only 167 men are represented, one of them twice: Michelangelo as a painter and again as a sculptor. The dogs are Hogarth's Trump and a generic greyhound associated with Veronese.

Normally one cannot get close enough to the Frieze to take satisfactory photos but in May 2017 we joined a tour of the monument which gave us the proximity needed. We photographed all the figures in the Frieze but have decided to publish only (with a few exceptions) those already on London Remembers. Many of the others are little-known outside their field and have no connection to London. See Wikipedia for the entire list and some good photos of the whole Frieze.

The monument has many other figures of an allegorical nature, which are well covered at The Library Time Machine. Another page at the Library Time Machine has some interesting photos of the monument under construction.

Ian Visits managed to get a tour of the usually inaccessible undercroft, the structure that supports this monument.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Frieze of Parnassus - Arne

Subjects commemorated Information

Thomas Augustine Arne

Composer. Born in King Street, Covent Garden. Wrote "Rule Britannia" in t...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Frieze of Parnassus - Arne

Created by Information

Henry Hugh Armstead

Sculptor and illustrator. Born Bloomsbury. Executed a large number of public ...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Frieze of Parnassus - Arne

Also at this site Information

Albert Memorial - Prince Albert

The bronze statue of Albert was originally gilded but this was removed in WW1...

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Nearby Memorials

Holborn Viaduct - Gresham

Holborn Viaduct - Gresham

EC4, Holborn Viaduct, Gresham House

Holborn Viaduct is watched over by four memorial statues:north-west corner - Walworthsouth-west corner - Fitz Eylwinsouth-east corner - G...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Westminster School - old boys - 3 - Victoria

Westminster School - old boys - 3 - Victoria

SW1, Broad Sanctuary

From Westminster's Conservation Audit: This Listed grade II monument was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. It is in a high Victorian ...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - steel statue

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - steel statue

CRO, Charles Street

{On a nearby bench:} Plaque 1:The characters for this Portrait Bench chosen by your community celebrate Sustrans winning a nationwide vo...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
George Peabody statue

George Peabody statue

EC4, Royal Exchange Buildings

Unveiled by the then Prince of Wales, unusually in the subject's lifetime. Too ill to attend the ceremony Peabody died 3 months later. At...

1 subject commemorated, 2 creators
V&A façade - Romney

V&A façade - Romney

SW7, Cromwell Road

Excluding the allegories (such as Knowledge) there are 36 statues on the two public façades of the V&A Museum, on Exhibition Road and...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator