Statue   

Frieze of Parnassus - Barry

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

Erection date: 1872

Inscription

Barry

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 - Barry

Subjects commemorated Information

Sir Charles Barry

Born in London. Architect of the Houses of Parliament, after the 1834 fire. O...

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

Created by Information

John Birnie Philip

John Birnie Philip was born on 23 November 1824 in London, the third son of t...

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

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

Bishop Creighton

Bishop Creighton

SW6, Bishop's Avenue, Fulham Palace Gardens

Londonist brought this engaging multiple memorial to our attention. Information about visiting Fulham Palace. Bishop Porteus looks out c...

1 subject commemorated, 2 creators
George IV

George IV

WC2, Trafalgar Square

One third of the sculptor's fees, totalling £9,000, were paid by the king, who was also responsible for the choice of Roman costume and, ...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Chris Moyes

Chris Moyes

WC2, Covent Garden Piazza, London Transport Museum

This unusual memorial was brought to our attention by the ever fascinating Discovering London where you can read how it came to be.

1 subject commemorated
Milton statue - Hammersmith

Milton statue - Hammersmith

W6, Shepherds Bush Road, Hammersmith Carnegie Library

Milton sitting on the left; Shakespeare on the right; Carnegie's cartouche is inside the porch, above the door. Erected in 1905, Carnegi...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Dias statue

Dias statue

WC2, Trafalgar Square, South African High Commission

Dias rests his right hand on a cross which tops what appears to be a lighthouse. Behind his lower half the niche is carved with some sche...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator