Sunday 3 March 2019

Maynard Monument by Charles Stanley

Maynard Monument by Charles Stanley (1703 - 61).

St Mary, Little Easton, Essex.



Monument to William Maynard (d. 1742).
by Charles Stanley
Hoxne, Suffolk.


A Danish-born sculptor and stuccoist, he spent two decades working in England. Stanley was born in Copenhagen on 12 December 1703 to an English father and a Danish mother. He was apprenticed in 1718 to the Danish court sculptor Johann Adam Sturmberg (1683-1741), who entrusted care of the young apprentice to one of his assistants, Peter Scheemakers. Stanley worked under Sturmberg on the elaborate stuccowork in Fredensborg Castle, 1720-22, and on two angels at the cornice of Sturmberg’s monument to the statesman, Otto Krabbe, (†1719) in Roskilde Cathedral.

After completing his apprenticeship Stanley visited Germany and Holland before coming to London in 1727, where he spent a year as an assistant to Scheemakers and Laurent Delvaux at their Millbank workshop. When Scheemakers went to Rome in 1728, Stanley also considered making the journey south, but he decided instead to remain in London when he received a lucrative commission from Lord Wilmington to provide sumptuous stucco decorations in the state bedrooms at Compton Place, near Eastbourne. Among the ornaments provided for Wilmington was a ceiling panel with a characterised medallion portrait of the architect Colen Campbell (Whinney 1988, 255, repr).

On 21 May 1730 he married Mrs Anne Allen, the daughter of his landlord at Eastbourne, Sussex, where he lived whilst working on plaster ceilings at Compton Place. She died five years later and a second marriage took place on 2 August 1737 to Magdalene Margrethe Lindemann, the sister of the German chaplain to the Court of St James. The couple had a son, Carl Frederick Stanley (c1738-1813), who trained as a sculptor with his father and later had a successful career in Denmark, where he became a professor at the Copenhagen Academy.

Shortly after 1730 Stanley set up independently as a sculptor and plasterer in London, advised by Scheemakers, who had recently returned from Rome. A stream of decorative commissions and a few for sculpture followed. Working principally with the plasterer, Thomas Roberts of Oxford, he provided rich stucco ceilings at Langley Park, Norfolk (1740), the Radcliffe Camera (1744), Okeover Park, Staffs (c1745), Kirtlington Park, Oxon (c1745) and probably a number of other houses. In 1738, whilst living in the parish of St John the Evangelist, Westminster, ‘Charles Stanley … plasterer’ took an apprentice, John Dauson, at a fee of £10 (Apprenticeship Tax Roll index).

For Langley Park see my blog post

Stanley was responsible for two major monuments for the aristocratic Maynard family, who had large estates in Suffolk and Essex. The towering memorial to Thomas Maynard has a life-size standing effigy of Maynard in vigorous classical draperies, his left arm resting on an urn, while his right hand holds a book. His head recalls Scheemakers’s work and on the pedestal is a large relief (1). The success of this commission led to a second, the monument to Charles, Lord Maynard and his ancestors (3). It also has a standing effigy garbed all’antica and grouped around him are three busts, three portrait medallions and a weeping putto. On the pedestal below is a fine high-relief tablet of three Cardinal and Christian Virtues, each attended by lively cherubs. Lord Maynard’s response to the sculptor’s work was expressed in an undated letter sent to Conyers Middleton: ‘I can’t say but I place a good deal of confidence in him’ (Maynard /Middleton). 

Around 1744 Stanley also carved, though he did not sign, the monument in Ely Cathedral to Humphrey Smith, which has a naturalistic portrait bust of a heavy middle-aged subject, in a foliate oval frame, attended by a weary, standing cherub (2).

In the summer of 1746 he accepted an invitation from Frederick V to return to Copenhagen as court sculptor, a post he held until his death. He departed hastily for Denmark leaving his affairs in a confused state. Letters to Leeke Okeover from Joseph Sanderson, who was responsible for building work at Okeover, relate that Stanley left ‘without settling with several of his acquaintances’ and that he had failed to show Sanderson a bust, a chimneypiece (4, 6) and a gilt picture frame with ribbon and flowers, all prepared for Okeover (Sanderson/Okeover, 25.10.1746). A later letter adopted a more philosophical tone: ‘One thing we must allow him [Stanley], is your ceiling is well done and cheap’ (Sanderson/Okeover, 9 December 1746).

Soon after returning to Copenhagen Stanley began work on the elegant marble group, Vertumnus, Pomona and Cupid, c. 1749, derived from Delvaux’s group for Wanstead (Copenhagen Stat Museum). 

When the Royal Danish Academy of Arts was founded in Copenhagen in 1752 he was appointed professor of sculpture. In his later years he continued to produce sculpture inspired by classical mythology. He was also responsible for a number of monuments.

Stanley had many skills. Whilst in England he probably become acquainted with the novelist Henry Fielding, a number of whose works he subsequently translated into Danish. In addition to his literary activities, Stanley composed various pieces of music including an oratorio. He also became a director of the Copenhagen porcelain factory.

Literary References: Buesching 1754-7, I, 527, II, 193-9, III, 193-9; 
Anecdotes 1937, 144; Esdaile 1937, 348-53, 608-11; 
Gunnis 1968, 365-6; 
Beard 1981, 285; 
Hare 1990, 144; 
Grove 29, 540-1 (DBL)

Archival References: GPC (transcribed letters from Joseph Sanderson to Leake Okeover, 1745-46)

Text above from:

Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain on line version


1 comment:

  1. The memorial is of Thomas Maynard [1686-1742] of Hoxne Hall who was the 1st son of William Maynard and Susan Evans. William was the 2nd son of the 2nd Lord Maynard. Thomas was the MP for Eye [1710-1715] and West Looe [1715-1722]. He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge and was employed as the commissary general of stores in Minorca 1717-1723 and commisioner of customs 1723-1730 in Suffolk. He resided at Hoxne Hall and died unmarried when his estate went to his maynard relatives at Little Easton, Essex.