Sculpture Journal

The politics of public monuments: parliamentary commissions of monuments for Westminster Abbey in 1798

Sculpture Journal (2021), 30, (1), 9–29.

Abstract

In the last quarter of the eighteenth century the British Parliament voted public money to pay for a number of monuments to public figures in Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral. This was a critical period in the move towards creating a pantheon to commemorate national heroes. The central role of Westminster Abbey in national life had never before been challenged, but from around 1798, and certainly from the memorialization of Admiral Lord Nelson in 1805, Parliament’s commissioning of monuments shifted its focus to St Paul’s Cathedral to create a national mausoleum for memorials to military and naval heroes. This article explores the significance of this transitional period in the history of Westminster Abbey for the Abbey itself and for the development of a national school of British sculptors, looking specifically at the process of commissioning the monuments to Captain Montagu by John Flaxman and Captains Harvey and Hutt by John Bacon the Elder in 1798.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Jenkins, Susan