Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sculpture of the Day: “Victory” by Christian Daniel Rauch, 1851

Christian Daniel Rauch
The Royal Collection
During the Great Exhibition of 1851, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert delighted in the displays of sculpture which lined the main corridor of the exhibit. Queen Victoria was particularly taken with the work of C.D. Rauch and ordered a seven foot tall marble figure of Victory from the sculptor with the intention of presenting as a gift to Prince Albert.

Rauch had sculpted many of the enormous figures which had been displayed at the King of Bavaria’s German showpiece, Valhalla, and his work was well known to many of Euopre’s crowned heads. Curiously, the sculpture that Victoria selected from the Great Exhibition had been intended for her all along. It seems that the King of Prussia had commissioned a grand sculpture of Victory which he planned on presenting to Queen Victoria. Strangely, he never followed through, and the sculpture was never presented to the Queen. Rauch ended up showing the unclaimed work at the Great Exhibition instead, and it coincidentally caught the eye of the Queen.

Prince Albert loved the figure and displayed it at their summer home on the Isle of Wight, Osborne House. A small bronze version of the sculpture (seen above) was cast in Germany and shown at the Great Exhibition, taking the place of the marble which had been moved to Osborne House. After the Exhibition, the bronze was added to the Royal Collection.

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
via The Royal Collection Trust
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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