Tuesday 1 September 2015

Terracotta bust of Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince, possibly from Prince Fredericks Temple in Carlton House Garden Termple.

Prince Edward of Woodstock, 'The Black Prince'.

One of Seven Terracotta Busts by Michael Rysbrack,
Accidently Destroyed when a Shelf Collapsed
at Windsor Castle in 1906.
The Original Photographs were taken by Livingstone in 1874 for a royal inventory.

The busts had been moved to Windsor Castle in 1825 when Queen Caroline’s library at St James’s Palace was demolished. 
Terracotta Bust of Edward of Woodstock, The Black Prince.
Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2015.
The variations of these busts derive from engravings by Renold Elstrack and from the Prince's tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.
Notes - 'Rysbrack depicts Edward the Black Prince, the son of King Edward III and Prince of Wales, as a military hero, wearing a coronet of stylised foliate motifs and a suit of armour with lion masks over the shoulders, a symbol Hercules and his strength. Edward is thought to have taken this name after the black colour of his armour and although he died before he could succeed his father to the throne he secured his son's ascension, who later became Richard II. His attire reflects the interpretation of earlier period dress and fashion that existed in the 18th century. It is likely that Rysbrack referred to images seen in contemporary history books or funerary monuments and effigies when designing the bust since the shape of the helmet is typical of 15th century armour and the moustache is commonly found in representations of medieval Knights.

In 1736, Queen Caroline, King George II’s consort, commissioned John Michael Rysbrack, a Flemish sculptor working in England, to create a series of terracotta busts of English sovereigns, of ‘all Kings of England from William the Conqueror’. In the early 18th century, a new fashion for representations and images of prominent historic figures or 'British Worthies' arose in England. With the arrival of a new protestant dynasty in 1714 there was a need to create a strong national identity. As well as a patron of the Arts, Queen Caroline was an influential political and intellectual figure of her time and with this commission she sought to establish direct links between the new Hanoverian protestant dynasty and England’s royal ancestry and historic past. 

George Vertue recorded a visit by Queen Caroline on 10 June 1735 to Rysbrack’s studio, where she was able to see ‘the Busts of Marble of Kings & Queens done lately by him to adorn some palace’. An article in the Gentleman’s Magazine a few weeks later noted that ‘Her Majesty has ordered Mr Risbrack to make the Bustos in Marble of all the Kings of England from William the Conqueror, in order to be placed in her New Building in the Gardens at Richmond’. Important as these early sources are, neither is completely accurate, for the series does not seem to have reached the marble stage, and there is no other contemporary reference to a series of kings at Richmond. These terracottas were in fact modelled for Queen Caroline’s Library at St James’s Palace. 

Whilst it may have been intended that the busts should then be carved in marble, the commission was annulled by the Queen’s death in November 1737. On 23 January 1738 Isaac Ware as Secretary of the Board of Works wrote to Rysbrack: ‘I am ordered … to acquaint You that [the Commissioners of Works] will Allow you the Price you have Charged them for the Busto’s in the Queens Library, but expect you will send them to the Office (there to be Lodged) the Models of the faces you made for Working after’. It seems that the terracottas themselves were displayed in the Library. The others in the series represented Alfred; Edward III; Philippa of Hainault; Henry V; Catherine of Valois; Henry VII; Elizabeth of York; Edward VII; Elizabeth I and Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales. Of the eleven terracotta sculptures that Rysbrack made only three survive: one of Edward VI (53346), another of Queen Elizabeth I (RCIN 45101) and this one of Edward, Prince of Wales, the Black Prince. The other busts were destroyed in 1906 when the shelf on which they stood at the Orangery in Windsor Castle collapsed. The busts had been moved to Windsor Castle in 1825 when Queen Caroline’s library at St James’s was demolished'.

Text adapted from The First Georgians; Art and Monarchy 1714 - 1760, London, 2014
Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2015.
Painted Terracotta Bust of Edward of Woodstock The Black Prince circa 1735.
 Recent photograph of the 1874 bust.
Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2015.
Warwick Castle Marble Bust of Edward of Woodstock - The Black Prince, circa 1736.
Sold Sotheby's lot 134, 9th December 2005.
This bust was recorded in an inventory taken at Warwick Castle in 1800 as being in the State Bedroom.
Katherine Eustace in the Sotheby's catalogue suggests that it might have gone to Warwick via Elizabeth Hamilton the wife of Francis Greville, Earl of Warwick (1719 -73) and goes on to suggest that it might have originally been in the Octagon in the Garden at Carlton House, Pall Mall. A voucher exists amongst the Duchy of Cornwall Papers, dated 1736 for busts of Frederick Prince of Wales (not identified yet), The Black Prince and King Alfred. Kate Eustace goes on to suggest that some kind of presentation of these semi-mythic figures from British history was intended. The Prince’s commission was, perhaps, an overt gesture in support of Richard Temple, Viscount Cobham, who had been deprived of his regiment by George II’s Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, tantamount in chivalric terms to being forbidden to bear arms.
Given that there is no provenance prior to 1800 for the marble bust of  Edward the Black Prince formerly at Warwick Castle it is a distinct possibility that it the bust from the Carlton House Pavilion.
I can find no record of any other Rysbrack busts of King Alfred other than the Stourhead Marble and the Stowe stone busts suggesting that the bust from Carlton House is still missing. 
Another possibility is a provenance to Adderbury, Oxfordshire, the house rebuilt for John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and 1st Duke of Greenwich. Argyll was a career soldier who had fought under Marlborough in the War of the Spanish Succession, and had been victorious against the Scots at Sheriffmuir in 1715. He became the first ever Field Marshal.

In the gallery at Adderbury, built in 1731, a version of the Black Prince was one of six busts by Michael Rysbrack in a programme of military heroes ancient and modern. It was probably sold from Adderbury in the 1770s.
Stone bust of Edward of Woodstock, The Black Prince.
By Michael Rysbrack c. 1735.
'The Terror of Europe, the Delight of England;who preserv'd, unalter'd, in the Height of Glory and Fortune,
his natural Gentleness and Modesty'.

From the Temple of British Worthies designed by William Kent for Richard Temple 1st Viscount Cobham in the Garden at Stowe, Buckinghamshire. This bust has many differences particularly in the details of the armour, from the previously illustrated busts.
Iconography -

Engraving of Prince Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince.
Book illustration to Thomas Fuller, 'The Holy State' (1642).
 by William Marshall.
Circa 1642
119 x 97 mm
British Museum
Engraving by Renold Elstrack
from Bazililogia, Book of Kings, 1618

Edward, the Black Prince, standing with spear and army in front of Poitiers. c.1625
by Thomas Cecill, pub. Roger Daniell at the Angel in Lombard Street, Pope's Head Alley
Lettered with titles in block in top left corner, and a dedication 'Dedicated to all the worthy and trew lovers of Archery. Thos Cecill sculp'. In lower part of design 'Are to be sold by Roger Daniel at the Angel in Lombard Street'
235 x 197 mm.
British Museum
Engraving by George Vertue
From Paul de Rapin - Thoyras
History of  of England. 1734 edition.
The title suggests that the image is based on the tomb at Canterbury
George Vertue. C. 1744.
The Monument of Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, The Black Prince
Canterbury Cathedral.
Photograph Courtesy The Guardian.

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