Thursday, 25 May 2017

Rysbrack at Windsor Castle

The Rysbrack Busts at Windsor Castle

The Royal Collection Photographs by John Wesley Livingston, 1874

Of the eleven terracotta busts that Rysbrack completed for Queen Caroline’s library at St James’s Palace only three survive: Edward the Black Prince (RCIN 37067), Edward VI (RCIN 53346) and Queen Elizabeth I (RCIN 45101). The others were destroyed, and this one partially damaged, in 1906 when the shelf on which they stood collapsed. The busts had been moved to the Orangery at Windsor Castle in 1825 when Queen Caroline’s library at St James’s Palace in London was demolished.

See my previous posts -                    and following posts.

5"x7" glass plate negative of two terracotta busts of Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales (WC sculpture 201) and Catherine of Valois (WC sculpture 200).

 5"x7" glass plate negative of two terracota busts of Edward III (WC Sculpture no.192) and Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England (WC Sculpture no.193). They were displayed in the Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle about 1880.

5" x 7" glass plate negative of 2 terracota busts of Edward The Black Prince (RCIN 37067), WC sculpture 194 and Edward VI (RCIN 53346), WC sculpture 195.

5"x7" glass plate negative of two terracota busts of Henry V (WC sculpture 196) and Elizabeth of York (RCIN 31667), WC sculpture 197 (with nose).

Four Photographs above from

From Glass Negatives

Statuettes of Rubens and van Dyck by Michael Rysbrack with Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm c 1882

The Statuettes of Rubens and van Dyck 
by Michael Rysbrack redux.

In the studio of Joseph Edgar Boehm
sculptor in ordinary to Queen Victoria.

For an in depth study of this pair of statuettes see this post and the series of posts after

Sometime serendipity means that further information sometimes appears after I thought I had completed my researches and i then have to update. I am posting this photograph of the sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834 - 90) in his studio showing his bust of Ruskin and also displaying a pair of plaster statuettes of Rubens and van Dyck from the originals by Michael Rysbrack on top of a cupboard. I discovered this photograph whilst searching for the identity of the sitter and sculptor of a very good plaster bust of a bearded man wrapped in a cape currently in a private collection.

Below are a few photographs and some notes regarding Boehm.

Photograph of Boehm in his studio with the bust of Ruskin.

Also on the cupboard is the bust of Boehm by his assistant Robert Glassbey who worked as his studio assistant from 1870 until 1890. At the Avenue 76 Fulham Road, West London

for Glasbey see -

The Glassby bust of Boehm.

Royal Collection


On the right is Boehms Bust of B. Bertrand, plaster , ca. 1882, described in the Royal Academy catalogue of 1882, no. 1618, as "Monsieur B. Bertrand, fencing-master of the late Prince Imperial Louis Napoleon; terra-cotta."  Exhibeted at the Royal Academy 1882.

A copy of this cast appears on a pedestal set against the back wall in the photograph above of Boehm's studio, beside the standing plaster statue of Sir Francis Drake, a "model for statues for Tavistock and Plymouth Hoe, etc." (Royal Academy 1883, no. 1545).

Information from -

Boehm, Joseph Edgar Sir (1834–1890), “Bust of B. Bertrand,” 

Photograph from Victorian Artists at Home, accessed May 25, 2017,

To the right on top of the medieval French coffer is a cast of the foot of Michael Angelo along with a cast of Lord Leighton's sculpture of an Athlete wrestling with a snake.


Portrait of Boehm by Spy with the bust of Gladstone


Image result for Boehm sculpture studio Getty

Related image

Image result for Boehm sculpture studio Getty

Ruskin with his "Pupil" Princess Louise

According to Lindsay Duguid, Boehm, who enjoyed a good deal of royal patronage, was the lover of "princess Louise, Queen Victoria's artistic daughter," and their "affair . . . ended with his dying of a burst blood vessel, alone with her in the studio she had built for him in the grounds of Kensington palace."

For an interesting account of the relationship of Boehm and Princess Louise see The Mystery of Princess Louise Queen Victoria's Rebellious Daughter by Lucinda Hawksley pub. 2013

For a brief biography and list of Boehms works see -

Plaster bust of Ruskin 
National Portrait Gallery.

see -



John Ruskin

Marble bust of Ruskin
Unidentified location.

Picture from the Royal Collection
Photograph by Joseph Parkin Mayall (1829 - 1906)

Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

NB Terracotta bust of Lucius Verrus on the pedestal behind.

see below.

Overlifesize Bust of Lucius Verrus
SInscribed Beohm
(private collection)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Bust of Alexander Pope bought by John Lane of the Bodley Head Publishers in Bath in 1919 (part 2).

Small Bust of Alexander Pope 
bought by John Lane in Bath in 1919 (part 2).

Given to the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath in 1925.
see my previous blog entry.

A photograph of the bust of Pope at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath with the gilt attribution to Prince Hoare added to the socle in 1925

Photographs taken by the author 8 April 2016
in rather poor light in the offices of the Victoria Art Gallery.

I am very grateful to Phoebe Meiklejohn McLaughlin and staff at the Victoria Art Gallery for making the bust available and allowing me the opportunity to take photographs of it.

This intriguing little bust, approximately 20 cms tall is very definitely a smaller version of the original signed and dated Roubiliac bust of Pope of 1740 formerly with Lord Mansfield at Kenwood House, Hampstead and now in the Fitzwilliam Collection at Milton near Peterborough and is perhaps a preparatory sketch model from the Roubiliac studio.

For an in depth look at the Milton Fitzwilliam / Mansfield bust see my blog entry -

The photographs show a creamy colored statuary marble (although this could be the result of tobacco smoke) - it is rather grubby. There are various obvious flaws in the marble which can plainly be discerned in the photographs. Such flaws were disguised on larger 18th Century busts made for display, but in this case there appears to have been no attempt to conceal these flaws - although this disguising might have been removed or washed off by a restorer. There is very little polishing on the surface of the flesh and the eyebrows have not been cut perhaps suggesting that it never received a final polishing - the hair does not appear to have ever been polished

Below are photographs of the two busts side by side provided for comparison. As can be seen it lacks the definition and subtlety of the full size bust and the nose is not entirely successful

The chiseling of the detail of the hair should be noted, particularly the parting on the left hand side of the back.


I am including (below) some very poor photographs of the very thickly over painted plaster bust of Pope at Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire former home of the Prime Minister Benjamin Disreali (now National Trust) for further comparison.

This bust appears to have been cast directly from the Milton Marble bust.


The Metropolitan Museum New York, Marble bust of  Alexander Pope. 

by Joseph Nollekens (1737 - 1823).

see -

Just to muddy the waters I have to point out that Joseph Nollekens (1737 - 1823) or his studio produced at least two versions of this bust paired with a bust of Lawrence Sterne.

Although very close it is not an exact replica - the distinct parting of the hair on the back of Pope's skull is missing in the Nollekens version. See photograph below). This would suggest that the Victoria Art Gallery bust is not a version of the later Nollekens bust.

The bust of Sterne was produced c. 1765 - 66 (Met. Mus).

Bust of Laurence Sterne - pair to the Nollekens bust of Pope at the Metropolitan Museum.

Another pair of these busts were sold

Comparison Photographs of the Bronze bust of Pope sold by Sotheby's London 6 July 2007 
and the Victoria Art Gallery Bath Miniature bust.

Bronze bust 45.6 cms tall.

for Sotheby's Catalogue entry see -