Lady Feodora Gleichen

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Lady Feodora Gleichen
Feodore Gleichen.jpg
Countess Feodora Georgina Maud von Gleichen

(1861-12-20)20 December 1861
Died22 February 1922(1922-02-22) (aged 60)
St James's Palace
EducationSlade School of Art
Known forsculptor
AwardsLégion d'honneur

Lady Feodora Georgina Maud Gleichen (20 December 1861 London – 22 February 1922 London) was a British sculptor of figures and portrait busts and designer of decorative objects.


Born Countess Feodora Georgina Maud von Gleichen, she was the eldest daughter of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (a British naval officer and sculptor, and half-nephew of Queen Victoria) and his morganatic wife, Laura Seymour, a daughter of Admiral Sir George Seymour,[1] a remote nephew of Henry VIII's Queen Jane Seymour. Within her family she was called Feo. Her father having been largely disinherited at the time of his marriage, he initially adopted his wife's morganatic comital title. The family were taken in by the Queen and given grace and favour accommodations at St James's Palace. Her brother, Lord Edward Gleichen, became a career military officer and author. Her sister, Lady Helena Gleichen, became a portrait painter.

On 15 December 1885, the Court Circular announced the Queen's permission for Feodora's mother to share her father's rank at the Court of St James, and henceforth they were known as TSH Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. But the Queen did not extend that privilege to their four children, although she confirmed use of their German style as count and countesses. In 1889 Feodora and her sisters Valda and Helena were bridesmaids to the Princess Royal Louise and the Earl of Fife. On 12 June 1913 Feodora and her sisters were granted precedence before the daughters of dukes in the peerage of England by George V.[2]


Gleichen studied art in her father's studio at St James's and later with Alphonse Legros at the Slade School of Art. While maintaining her father's studio she associated with leading artists such as Sir George Frampton, sculptor of the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. She completed her studies in Rome in 1891 and regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1892 and at the New Dudley Gallery.


Florence Nightingale - - 716771

After her father's death in 1891, she took over his studio inside of St James's Palace.[3][4]

Gleichen was a multidisciplinary artist, creating large sculptures for public venues as well as smaller objects,[5] portrait busts,[6][7] drawings,[8][9] small bronzes[10] and bas reliefs. She produced many decorative objects such as frames,[11] chalices and small sculptures, sometimes for the use of the royal family.[12] A bas-relief and hand-mirror in jade and bronze won her a bronze medal in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.[13] She also helped with illustrations for the Younghusband Expedition to Tibet in 1904.

Major works[edit]

Diana Fountain, Hyde Park, London

Permanent collections[edit]

Her 1921 work Head of a Girl is included in the permanent collection of the Tate Gallery.[23] A sculptural relief titled Queen Hatasu of Egypt is included in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.[24]

Later life[edit]

During World War I she abandoned her German titles, accepting demotion by the King to the style and rank of a marquess's daughter,[25] by Royal Warrant of Precedence, pursuant to the King's dynastic reform of titles and names during establishment of the House of Windsor in 1917.

Following an operation for appendicitis in 1922, she died at her apartment in St James's Palace.[13][26][27] Shortly before her death, she was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1922 and was later posthumously made the first woman member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.[28][29]


References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Atwood, Kathryn J. (2014). Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics. Chicago Review Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-61374-686-8.
  2. ^ "No. 28789". The London Gazette. 2 January 1914. p. 37.
  3. ^ Anne Commire; Deborah Klezmer (1999). Women in World History: Gab-Harp. Yorkin Publications. ISBN 978-0-7876-4065-1.
  4. ^ The Sphere: An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home. 1922.
  5. ^ New Gallery (London, England) (1888). The New Gallery. Chatto and Windus. pp. 4–.
  6. ^ Cassell's Family Magazine. Cassell. 1895. pp. 916–.
  7. ^ Elijah Howarth; F. R. Rowley; W. Ruskin Butterfield; Charles Madeley (1931). The Museums Journal. Dulau and Company, Limited.
  8. ^ Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1918). Life and Letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker ... Appleton.
  9. ^ Huntia. Hunt Botanical Library, Carnegie Institute of Technology. 1979.
  10. ^ The Academy. J. Murray. 1894. pp. 482–.
  11. ^ Nikolaus Pevsner (1963). Herefordshire. Penguin Books. pp. 260–. ISBN 978-0-14-071025-0.
  12. ^ The Builder. 1891. pp. 445–.
  13. ^ a b c "LADY FEODORA GLEICHEN". 24 February 1922. p. 9 – via Trove.
  14. ^ "Applause: Queen Victoria looks better than ever". 26 October 2015.
  15. ^ Cathy Hartley (15 April 2013). A Historical Dictionary of British Women. Routledge. pp. 382–. ISBN 978-1-135-35534-0.
  16. ^ Christopher Hibbert; Ben Weinreb; John Keay; Julia Keay (9 September 2011). The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition). Pan Macmillan. pp. 539–. ISBN 978-0-230-73878-2.
  17. ^ The Builder. 1911.
  18. ^ "Florence Nightingale statue (minus her hand and lamp)". Europeana Collections.
  19. ^ England, Historic. "FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE STATUE INCLUDING SURROUNDING STONEWORK, Non Civil Parish - 1228598- Historic England".
  20. ^ "Spot the difference as Florence Nightingale statue gets a clean". 21 July 2017 – via
  21. ^ "Monument to the 37th British Division - Monchy-le-Preux - Remembrance Trails of the Great War in Northern France".
  22. ^ Alexander Hopkins McDannald (1923). The Americana Annual: An Encyclopedia of Current Events. Americana Corporation.
  23. ^ Tate. "Feodora Gleichen 1861-1922 - Tate".
  24. ^ "Queen Hatasu of Egypt, (1906) by Countess Feodora Gleichen :: The Collection :: Art Gallery NSW".
  25. ^ "No. 30551". The London Gazette. 1 March 1918. p. 2632.
  26. ^ "DEATH OF KING'S COUSIN". 24 February 1922. p. 6 – via Trove.
  27. ^ "SCULPTOR DIES". 25 February 1922. p. 5 – via Trove.
  28. ^ Alicia Foster (15 June 2004). Tate Women Artists. Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-1-85437-311-3.
  29. ^ The Woman's Year Book. Women Publishers. 1923.


External links[edit]