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Physical Energy Physical Energy

Statue: Physical Energy

Erection date: /9/1907


{On a plaque laid into the ground in front of the statue:}
George Frederic Watts, OM, RA (1817 - 1904)
'Physical Energy', 1882 - 1904
Bronze cast for Kensington Gardens, where it was placed in September 1907.

'Physical Energy' is G F Watts's sculptural masterpiece; a universal embodiment of the dynamic force of ambition.The artist himself described it as, 'a symbol of that restless Physical impulse to seek the still unachieved in the domain of material things'. Three bronzes were cast of this sculpture of which this is the second, the other two are in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The full size model for this sculpture is on display at Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey.

This centenary plaque was unveiled by HRH the Duke of Gloucester GC GCVO on 7th September 2007.

{Moulded on the base of the statue, at the front:}
Physical Energy by G.F.Watts, OM, RA

{Stamped on the base of the statue, right side:}
A.B.Burton, founder, Thames Ditton

{Inscribed on the base of the statue, left side:}
G. F. Watts, June 1904

Site: Physical Energy (1 memorial)

W2, Kensington Gardens

We always knew about this statue but only realised it was a memorial in October 2016 when it was nominated by sculptor Steven Claydon as a statue he hates. Confirmed by Artsnet: "Watts was a willing, if muddle-headed, supporter of Rhodes."

We understand there are 3 (or soon 4) full-size versions of this sculpture, located: Cape Town, South Africa: Harare, Zimbabwe; here; on a hill near the Watts Gallery (creation and installation planned in 2017 for 2018).

Watts based the sculpture on one of his earlier works, an equestrian statue of the first Duke of Westminster.

What's that spire tickling the horse's belly? - the Royal Albert Hall doesn't have a spire. Correct, but the Queen's Tower rises, in perfect alignment, to appear above the Hall.

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Physical Energy

Information Subjects commemorated

Cecil Rhodes

Mining magnate and politician in southern Africa. Prime Minister of the Cape ...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Physical Energy

Information Created by

A. B. Burton Foundry

Founder based in Thames Ditton.  From Exploring Surrey's Past: The foundry wa...

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Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester

Grandson of George V, and son of Princess Alice. Patron of the Silver Jubilee...

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G. F. Watts

Born in London. His piano-making father named him after Handel. Married brief...

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