Thomas Brock

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For other people named Thomas Brock, see Thomas Brock (disambiguation).
Sir Thomas Brock

Sir Thomas Brock KCB RA (Worcester 1 March 1847 – 22 August 1922) was an English sculptor, whose works include the monument to Queen Victoria in front of Buckingham Palace.

Life[edit]

Thomas Brock in his studio, 1889.
George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary with Sir Thomas Brock in the foundry of A.B. Burton.
The Imperial Memorial to Queen Victoria in front of Buckingham Palace

Brock was born in Worcester, attended the School of Design in Worcester and then undertook an apprenticeship in modelling at the Worcester Royal Porcelain Works. In 1866 he became a pupil of the sculptor John Henry Foley. After Foley's death in 1874, Brock finished some of his commissions. It was his completion of Foley's statue of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial which first brought Brock to prominence.

His group The Moment of Peril (now in the garden of Leighton House) was followed by The Genius of Poetry, at the Carlsberg Brewery, in Copenhagen, Eve (1898),[1] and other imaginative works that mark his development. His portrait works include busts, such as those of Lord Leighton and Queen Victoria, statues, such as Sir Richard Owen and Henry Philpott, bishop of Worcester, and sepulchral monuments such as Lord Leighton in St Pauls Cathedral.

In 1901 Brock was asked to make a colossal equestrian statue of Edward the Black Prince for Leeds City Square, and was also given perhaps his most significant commission, the vast multi-figure Imperial Memorial to Queen Victoria to be set up in front of Buckingham Palace. He had previously made statues of the queen to celebrate her golden and diamond jubilees, and designed the depiction of her head used on coins between 1893 and 1901.[2] According to legend, at the unveiling of the memorial in May 1911, George V was so moved by the excellence of the memorial that he called for a sword and knighted Brock on the spot.

Brock was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1883 and full member in 1891.

Family[edit]

He married in 1869, and had eight children.

Works[edit]

  • Statue of Richard Baxter, 17th century English Puritan church leader and divine scholar. Originally in the Bull Ring, Kidderminster but moved to its present site, outside St Mary's parish church in March 1967. Unveiled 28 July 1875.[3][4]
  • Equestrian bronze A Moment of Peril (1880) now in the collection of Tate Britain.
  • Statue of Robert Raikes, Victoria Embankment Garden, London. Erected 1880.[5]
  • Statue of Sir Rowland Hill, inventor of the Penny Black and modern postal system. Vicar Street, Kidderminster. Unveiled 26 June 1881.[6][7]
  • Statue and bas-relief on the Sir Henry Bartle Frere Memorial, Whitehall Gardens, London (1888).[8]
  • Monument to Henry Philpott, Bishop of Worcester. South Transept of Worcester Cathedral. Seated white figure (1892).[9]
  • Design of Queen Victoria's 'veiled' or 'widowed' head on British coinage and medals (1893–1901).
  • Queen Victoria Monument, Carlisle. Erected 1902.[10]
  • Statue of Sir John Everett Millais, outside Tate Britain, Millbank, London. Represented standing holding a palette and a paintbrush. Originally erected on the east side of the gallery in 1905; moved to its present position at the rear of the building in 2000.[11]
  • Equestrian statue of Edward VII, Macquarie Street, Sydney. Brock was chosen for the commission in 1915, but the work was not finished and delivered until 1921.[12]
  • Equestrian statue of Edward VII. Unveiled in New Delhi, India, 1922; it was removed in 1967, sold in 1968 and re-erected in Queen's Park in Toronto, Canada in 1969.[13]
  • Bust of Henry W. Longfellow, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia.
  • Statue of Queen Victoria on the grounds of the Belfast City Hall.
  • Memorial to the victims of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, also on the grounds of Belfast City Hall.
  • Statue of Sir Henry Irving on Charing Cross Road, London.
  • Figures of Navigation and Gunnery at the Admiralty Arch, London.

References[edit]

  1. ^ A plaster model for Eve was shown at the Royal Academy in 1898; a marble version (1900) is in the collection of the Tate and Brock also some smaller bronze replicas. See "Sir Thomas Brock: Eve, 1900". Tate. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Artist of the Month September 2009". Royal Academy of Arts Collections. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  3. ^ The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 p207
  4. ^ Kidderminster Since 1800, Ken Tomkinson and George Hall, 1975 p209-210
  5. ^ Return of Outdoor Memorials in London 1910, p.42
  6. ^ The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 p208
  7. ^ Public Monument and Sculpture Association National Recording Project
  8. ^ Return of Outdoor Memorials in London 1910, p.24
  9. ^ The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 p312
  10. ^ "Queen Victoria Monument, Carlisle". History and Heritage. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Sir Thomas Brock: Sir John Everett Millais 1904". Tate. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Royalty and Australian Society Chapter 2: King Edward VII". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Wencer, David. "Historicist: Here Comes the Equestrian Statue". Torontoist. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Beattie, Susan. The New Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.
  • British Sculpture, 1850–1914. Exhibition catalogue, The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street London Wl. 30 September – 30 October 1968.
  • Byron, Arthur. London Statues. London: Constable, 1921.
  • Getsy, David. Body Doubles: Sculpture in Britain, 1877–1905. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.
  • Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.
  • Return of Outdoor Memorials in London, London County Council, 1910
  • Sankey, John. Thomas Brock and the Critics — An Examination of Brock's Place in the New Sculpture Movement. PhD Thesis, University of Leeds, 2002.
  • Mark Stocker, 'Brock, Sir Thomas (1847–1922)'. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford

Gallery[edit]

External links[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Preceded by
Joseph Edgar Boehm
Coins of the pound sterling
Obverse sculptor

1892
Succeeded by
George William de Saulles