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Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens, London
19th century
         
Albert Memorial
         
  Notes in italics are from London 3 North West by Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1991)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
 
 
Albert Memorial
, Kensington Gardens. 1863-72 by Sir George Gilbert Scott. This 'memorial of our blameless Prince' (Builder, 1863, p.361) is the epitome in many ways of High Victorian ideals and High Victorian style, rich, solid, a little pompous, a little vulgar, but full of faith and self-confidence. It is 53 metres high and has more than 175 life-size or more-than-life-size figures
. It has costly marble, plenty of granite, bronze, and mosaics, and around 150,000 were expended on it. Scott's idea was noble: 'to erect a kind of ciborium ... to protect a statue of the Prince ... These shrines were models of imaginary buildings, and my idea was to realize one of these imaginary structures with its precious metals, its inlaying, its enamels, etc.' Scott regarded the memorial as his 'most prominent work', the outcome of his 'highest and most enthusiastic efforts'. The memorial consists of a canopy constructed around an iron frame, raised on twenty-four steps.
 
         
                             
         
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The columns are Ross of Mull granite, the top parts of Portland stone (instead of the marble Scott at first proposed), abundantly adorned with Salviati glass mosaic designed by Clayton and Bell. ... Beneath the canopy is the seated bronze statue of Prince Albert, 4.20 metres high, by J.H. Foley, completed in 1876. ... The base of the canopy carries a marble frieze with the figures of painters
(east - last picture), poets and composers (south - first picture), architects (north - not shown), and sculptors (west - not shown). The corners project and carry four marble groups: Agriculture .. Manufacture .. Commerce .. Engineering. At the outer corners of the whole memorial four more groups, their compositions devised by Scott: Asia .. Europe .. Africa .. America. There are plenty of smaller bronze figures on the pillars and canopy (by Armstead and Philip) and on the spire (Christian and moral virtues by Redfern). ...
 
         
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