Hide Articles List

14 articles on this Page

--.-ce. V ARIETI ES.

[No title]

HOUSE OF LORDS.—MAY 27.

HOUSE OF LORDS-MAY 24.

HOUSE OF COMMONS-MAY 24.

HOUSE OF COMMONS, MAY 27.|

HOUSE OF LORDS.—TUESDAY..…

HOUSE OF COMMONS.—TOTSDAT.

THE COURT..

THE FENIAN CONVICTS M'CLURE…

THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL TO HIS'…

News
Cite
Share

THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL TO HIS' ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE CONSORT. The foundation of the secon metropolitan Memorial to his Royal Highness the Prince Consort having been laid with a degree of pomp and splendour calculated to throw into the shade the National Memorial nich is quietly rising on the opposite side of the way, a few details of the progress of this stately monument may not be uninterestiner to our readers. It will be remembered that on the abandonment of the intention to raise a vast monolithic obelisk, which was the first ideal form for the Memorial, several of the most eminent architects were invited to submit designs, and that of Mr. G. Gilbert Scott, R.A., was selected. Mr. Scott's design, though in some sense a "memorial cross," differs widely in type from the form usually described by that term. It is, in fact, a vast canopy or shrine, overshadowing a colossal statue of the personage to he commemorated, and itself enriched throughout with artistic illustrations of or allusions to the arts and sciences fostered by the Prince, and the virtues which adorned his character. The canopy or shrine which forms the main feature of the Memorial is raised upon a platform ap- proached on all sides by a vast double flight of steps, and stands upon a basement or podium rising from this elevated platform to a level of about 12 feet. Upon the angles of this podium stand the four great clusters of granite shafts that support the canopy, which is itself arched on each side from these massive pillars, each face being terminated by a gable, and each angle by a lofty pinnacle, while over all rises a jieche or enriched spire of metal work surmounted by a gemmed and floriated cross. Beneath the canopy, and raised upon a pedestal, will be placed the quasi- eii thron ed statue of the Prince Consort. Having thus hastily sketched the simple idea on which the monument is framed, we will proceed to describe the objects of art and decoration with which it is to be clothed, beginning, however, with a few words on its structure and materials. Tha idea of the architect in his desigii of the canopy, as stated in the printed paper which accompanied his first drawings, was this :-The first conception was a shrine. The exquisite metal and jewelled shrines of the 12th and 13th centuries arc nearly always ideal models of larger structures, but of structures of which the ori- ginal type never existed. Their pillars were of gold or sil-, er-gilt, enriched with wreaths of exquisite pattern- woik in many-coloured enamel. Their arches, gables, and other architectural features were either chased in beautiful foliage cut in gold or silver, or enriched with alternate plaques of enamel pattern work and of filigree studded with gems. Their roofs were covered with patterns of repousse work or enamel, and enriched with sculptured medallions; the crestings of roofs and ga- bles were grilled with exquisite open foliage in gold or silver, while every part was replete with sculpture, enamel paintings, and jewelry. The architect's aim, then, was to reproduce in some degree at full size the ideal structure which these wonder- ful old jewellers represented in model. This idea could not, of course, be literally carried out, but it has deter- mined the leading characteristics of the monument, and, at least so far as the metal work is concerned, is being faithfully acted on, while in the more massive parts of the structure i! cannot be carried further than to give its tone to the decorations. The four pillows which support the canopy consist each of eight shafts of polished granite, grouping round a central core." Four of these are of the beautiful red granite from the Ross of Mull, and are each two feet in diameter at the foot, but slightly tapering upwards. The other four are of a fine, dark grey granite from the Castle Wellan quarries in the north of Ireland. These are somewhat less than a foot in diameter. The bases are in two heights, the lower one being of the Ross of Mull granite, and the upper' being another variety from Castle Wellan, of a colour' almost approaching to black marble. The latter arc in' single stones, each of which, when unwrought, weighed about 15 tons. The working of each employed eight men for about 20 weeks, and is probably one of the most highly-finished and costly pieces of work executed in granite in modern times, every moulding being wrought with the utmost precision, and brought to the finest polish. The base and capping mouldings of the podium are of two-varieties of the Ross of Mull granite, also highly polished. The structural parts of the canopy, such as its arches, &cr., are of Portland stone, and the capitals of the great pillars are carved out of vast blocks from the quarries of Mr. Whitworth, Darley Dale, in Derbyshire. The stonework will be richly carved, and; the carved surfaces gilt and enriched by studs of coloured enamel and polished-stones, as will the surfaces of the pinnacles, the cornices, &c., polished granite again from time to time appearing in conjuntion with the stonework. The pedestal which will support She statue of the Prince is polished granite and marble. In this part alone appears the exquisite pink granite from. Corrennac, a mountain some thirty miles from Aberdeen, where, in the absence of any quarry, the most beautiful of all British granites is found in the boulders which are strewed upon the mountain side. The dado of the pedestal, which is of marble, will be richly carve l, gilt, and gemmed, and will in front display the armorial bearings of the Prince. The steps, with the large pedestals which will support the groups of sculpture at the outer angles, are of-finely- wrought, but unpolished granite. The space which they occupy is 134 feet square. It should here be men- tioned that the whole of the works hitherto described have been executed by Mr. Ivelk, M.P., who at the outset chivalrously volunteered to undertake the execu- tion of the memorial without any profit. This he is doing to the letter, taking upon himself the responsi- bility of not exceeding the estimate even for works not strictly speaking his own, but returning so the fund any. profit which may be found to accrue. The whole of the granite and. stonework has been done on the building-ground under Mr. Kelk's director of the works, Mr. Cross, and more admirable work was probably never executed. The machinery* by which most of the granite-polishing has been executed was most perfect and interesting, though all the more intricate parts have had to be worked by hand. The work had been much delayed by the difficulty in procuring from Ireland the blocks for the bases of the columns, but is now advanced to the height of the cornice of the main structure, while the metal work of the fleche, -See., is nearly complete, and the sculpture steadily advancing. The central statue is being executed by the Baron Marochetti, R.A.. a sitting figure, about 13ft. 6in. high, in: bronze, gilt, and: in parts enamelled. The groups of sculpture at the outer angles of the steps are intended to have reference to the International Exhibitions and their contributors from all parts of the world, symbol- ical figures of the four quarters of the globe being introduced, seated on characteristic animalsâas the bull, the elephant, the camel, and the bisonâand surrounded by representative- figures of different coun- tries. These are being executed by Mr. M'Dowell, R.A., Mr. Foley, R.A., Mr. Theed, a Mr. Bell; each group will be about lift, high and 13ft. 4in. square at its base. On projecting counterforts at the angles of the po- dium will be found other groups representing allegorically Agriculture, Engineering, Commerce, and Manufacture. These will be by Mr. Weekes, R.A., Mr. Calder- Mar- shall, R.A., Mr. Thorneycroft. and Mr. Lawlor. The dado of the podium itself will present a continuous range of sculpture in altro-reiievo, containing in the manner of the Eemicycle des Beaux Arts, by Dalaroche, grouped statues, life-size, of the prin- cipal professors of Poetry (with Music), Paint- ing, Sculpture, and Architecture, the two former by Mr. H. H. Armstead, the two latter by Mr. J. B. Philip. Each of these sculptors has now modelled one side, a work of vast labour and study, and promising much success. The actual sculpture is in hand, and (as is the case with all which has yet been mentioned) is to- be executed in an intensely hard variety of what is vulgarly called Sicilian" marble, but known at the Caira quarries, where it is procured, as Cam- panella," from its. ringing like a bell. This marble, though harder than any usually imported into this country, has. been selected to ensure durability. All the groups of sculpture enumerated are in a state of considerable advancement. On the angles of the monument will be eight statues in bronze, parcel gilt, representing the sciences of astronomy, geology, chemistry, rhetoric, philosophy, physiology, and medi- cine. These are to be by Mr. H. H. Armstead and Mr. J. B. Philip. In the tympana of the gables and in the spandrils of the arches will be mosaic pictures relating to the arts whose professors are represented below, those in the gables being allegorical figures representing the Arts, and the spandrils illustrating their practical opera- tions. These will be executed in mosaic by Signor Salviati from cartoons by Mr. J. R. Clayton. The vaulting of the canopy will be enriched with mosaic. The architectural carving is being executed by Messrs. Farmer and Brindley, the well-known artists in that de- partment. The ornamental mctalwork comprising the fleche (rising to 160ft. from the ground), the roofs and gables, and the bands round the great pillars, are being executed by Mr. Skedmore, of Coventry. Thcjlèehe consists of an internal framework of iron clothed with a highly enriched exterior of lead and copper, and pro- fusely enriched with gold, enamel, inlayings, and polished stones. Nearly the whole of the metal work is already executed, and is probably the richest and most extensive piece of artistic work in metal which has ever been effected. It is here that the architect's thought of producing at full size the ideal structure which the ancient shrines represent in model has been most fully carried out. It is, in fact, an enlarged carrying out of the jeweller's work of the 13th century, such as is seen in the well-known shrines at Aix-la-Cliapellc, Cologne, Marburg, Tournai, &c., an idea which, if abnormal, may be excused by the fact that those works professed to be reduced models of a larger original. In the ornamentation of themetalwork will appear the armorial badges, mottoes, &c., of the Prince, and in niches in thejleche will be figures repre- senting the moral and Christian virtues, angels, &c., the whole surmounted by a large and highly enriched cross. The dedicatory inscription will surround the structure immediately below the main cornice. It is hoped that the main structure will be completed within a twelvemonth from this time, though the sculp- ture and mosaic pictures will occupy a longer period. It may he mentioned that the architect is most desirous of introducing into the gemming of the structure as many richly-coloured polished stones as may be possible, should such be presented during the progress of the works. None, however, will preserve their polish but such as are of a siiicious nature, as cornelians, crystal, porphyries, amethysts, and stones of a like nature. The management of the works, under her Majesty, is in the bands of an Executive Committee, consisting of the Hon. General Grey, Lord Torrington, Sir Thomas Bid- dulph, Sir Alexander Spearman, and Mr. Layard, M.P. The late Sir Charles Phipps and Sir Charles Eastlake were also members. The latter was associated with the architect in especial reference to matters of art not directly architectural, and has been succeeded in this charge by Mr. Luyard. It may be mentioned that the site on which the Memorial is being erected is, as nearly as may be, at the intersecting point of the central lines of the two great International Exhibitions originated by the Prince Consort.

I" 1 THE NEW HOLBORN AMPHITHEATRE.¡

"! THE CATTLE PLAGUE. ! |

[No title]