Equestrian Statue of George I

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Equestrian Statue of George I
Statue of King George I outside The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.JPG
ArtistJohn Nost Edit this on Wikidata
DesignationGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata
LocationBarber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, United Kingdom Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates52°27′00″N 1°55′38″W / 52.450072°N 1.92715°W / 52.450072; -1.92715Coordinates: 52°27′00″N 1°55′38″W / 52.450072°N 1.92715°W / 52.450072; -1.92715

The equestrian Statue of George I by John van Nost the Elder,[1][2] stands outside the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, England.[2]

The bronze statue was commissioned by the city of Dublin in 1717,[3] as a gesture of loyalty towards George I (who had been King of Great Britain and Ireland since August 1714[4]), in the face of support from Irish Catholics for the pretender to his throne, James Stuart.[5]

George is shown wearing contemporary clothing, but with a laurel wreath in the Roman style.[6] The work may have been finished by van Nost's students.[5]

It was displayed on Essex Bridge (now Grattan Bridge) in Dublin from 1722 until some time between 1753 and 1755, when it was removed by George Semple, who was in charge of rebuilding the bridge, in order to prevent erosion caused by the flow of water around the pedestal on which the statue sat.[7]

The statue was re-erected in 1798 in the gardens of the city's Mansion House.[2] It was acquired for the Barber Institute in 1937 - at which time Dublin was the capital of the Irish Free State - by the institute's founding director, Thomas Bodkin, who had arrived there directly from his post as director of the National Gallery of Ireland in 1935.[3]

In July 1982, the statue was granted legal protection as a Grade II listed structure, preventing unauthorised removal or alteration.[8]


  1. ^ Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1660–1851, Rupert Gunnis
  2. ^ a b c De Courcy, John (1988). Anna Liffey. The river of Dublin. Dublin: O'Brien Press.
  3. ^ a b "Sculpture Trail" (PDF). University of Birmingham.
  4. ^ Hatton, Ragnhild (1978). George I: Elector and King. London: Thames and Hudson. p. 109. ISBN 0-500-25060-X.
  5. ^ a b Wilks, John (2012). Walks Through History: Birmingham. ISBN 9781780911762.
  6. ^ van der Krogt, René; van der Krogt, Peter. "Birmingham - King George I". Retrieved 4 February 2018. Bronze equestrian statue, following the model of the classical statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The king is however depicted in contemporary clothing, but wears a laurel.
  7. ^ Gibney, John (2017). Dublin – A New Illustrated History (PDF). p. 105. ISBN 9781848893306. [the bridge] was rebuilt, and in 1722 a statue of George I by John van Nost the Elder was erected on a conjoining pedestal; it can be seen on the right of the image. Alas, the pedestal on which the statue rested altered the flow of the Liffey, causing the river to erode the foundations of the bridge. In the 1750s the statue was removed and the bridge was rebuilt under the direction of George Semple.
  8. ^ "Equestrian Statue of George I, Birmingham - 1275739". Historic England. Retrieved 3 February 2018.