Ian Brennan (sculptor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ian G. Brennan (born 1950) is the official sculptor to the Most Noble Order of the Garter and Honourable Order of the Bath.[1] Brennan has received over ninety-five commissions for the Royal Household, these include over seventy-five carved and painted crowns, coronets and crests. Those of the Garter knights have been installed in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Those of the Knights of the Bath have been installed in Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.[2]

Royal commissions[edit]

Brennan's commissions in both wood and bronze for the British Royal Household have drawn other patrons. In the nearly 30 years since his appointment as official sculptor to Britain's two most prestigious heraldic orders, the artist has completed commissions for King Juan Carlos of Spain, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Harald V of Norway and Emperor Akihito of Japan.[3]

Order of the Garter[edit]

John Major in the robes of a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter.

Over the course of decades, a number of newly created crests carved by Brennan have been positioned above the Knights choir stalls (seats) in St George's Chapel. These include the crests and coronet for three former British Prime Ministers: The Swan for Sir Edward Heath,the stag for Sir John Major and the coronet for Baroness Margaret ThatcherThe coronets for Princess Alexandra, Lavinia,Duchess of Norfolk and Lady Soames; daughter of Sir Winston Churchill. The wings for Sir Timothy Colman, the swan for Sir Edward Heath, the badger for Lord Butler of Brockwell, the lion for Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the griffin for Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the stag for Sir John Major, and the kiwi for Sir Edmund Hillary. The Coronet for the Princess Anne,The Princes Royal, the Royal crests for The Duke of Glocester, Prince Andrew The Duke of York, Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex and more recently the Royal crest for Prince William. The gilded Chrysanthemum crest of HIM Emperor Akihito represented a somewhat different artistic challenge than is normally posed by the conventions of European heraldry. Brennan was also asked to replace damaged or missing carving on some of the older historic sculpture in the chapel. Among those restored Garter Crests and Royal Crowns which were originally made during the middle of the last century are King Frederick IX of Denmark, King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.[4]

Order of the Bath[edit]

Brennan carved the crest for HRH The Prince of Wales, The Great Master of the Order of the Bath. Other crests created by Brennan for Knights of the Bath include carving done for Sir Douglas Lowe, Air Chief Marshal Sir Neil Wheeler and Admiral Sir Anthony Griffin.[5]

Other commissions[edit]

Brennan's carving is featured around the entrance port on the middle gun-deck on HMS Victory.

Brennan carved a life-size lion figurehead and he also worked on the scrollwork around the entrance port on the middle gun-deck on Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory[3] which is currently in dry dock at Portsmouth's Royal Naval Dockyard.[6] Today, HMS Victory serves as flagship of the United Kingdom's Second Sea Lord and the Royal Navy's Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command. Brennan's sculptural work was part of an on-going restoration and maintenance programme for the oldest commissioned warship in the world.[7]

Other marine sculpture includes creating the Cunard Crest which is on display in the Grand Lobby of the ocean liner MS Queen Victoria.[8]


  1. ^ Cavill, Suzanne. "Phoenix Rising."
  2. ^ Order of the Garter
  3. ^ a b "Carver of the Month: Ian G. Bennan," Woodezine. Vol. II, No. VI. June 2004.
  4. ^ Garter crests
  5. ^ Order of the Bath
  6. ^ , non-Royal Navy, HMS Victory
  7. ^ Royal Navy, HMS Victory
  8. ^ "Queen Victoria: Art on Board," International Art Treasures (web magazine). January 2008; "Cunard's Queen Victoria to Launch with Museum-Quality Art Collection," Food & Beverage Close-Up. October 26, 2007.


External links[edit]