Monday 4 January 2016

The Rysbrack Statuettes of Rubens, van Dyck and du Quesnoy, Part 29, Scheemakers Statue of Shakespeare on the Monument in Westminster Abbey and it Variants and Afterlife.

The Statues of William Shakespeare
by and after Peter Scheemakers (1691 - 1781).
The next few blog entries will discuss the genesis and influence of the statue on the Shakespeare Monument at Westminster Abbey by Scheemakers and its varients - and the influence of the pose of the statue on the monument to Secretary James Craggs by Guelphi of 1722 also in Westminster Abbey.

for a brief biog. of Scheemakers see -

George Vertue wrote in praise of the sculptures in 1743, Rysbrack had 'lately since made three models in clay, being the representation of 3 most excellent artists (about 2 foot hi each figure) Rubens van Dyke and Fiamingo Quenoy all three his countrymen These three models for the invention being standing the gracefulness of the Actions the dispositions of their habit, attitudes, and natural likeness, is most excellent. Q[uestion] if any other Artist living could do better and more masterly execute them.’

George Vertue in his notebooks, goes on to say that Rysbrack's popularity had been eclipsed by that of Peter Scheemakers, after the completion in 1740 of the latters monument to Shakespeare in Westminster Abbey and that he was feeling 'the effects in the line of Busines' there is no suggestion that there was any financial motive rather that he had time on his hands and that 'these (statuettes) are the effect of leisure and study'.
Vertue continues - Rysbrack had found himself 'somewhat at leisure' owing to 'the great and unproportioned exhultation of that statue of Shakespeare erected in Westminster Abbey - done by Scheemakers'
The use of the van Dyck style costume should be noted and is an early example of its application on a monument. The pose of the statue is based on the monument to Secretary James Craggs, sculpted by Guelphi and designed by James Gibbs in 1727/8, also in Westminster Abbey.
I will write further on the statue of Craggs and its influence in posts in the very near future.

Mezzotint of the Shakespeare Monument
Engraved Andrew Miller, 1741.
Engraving by J Maurer.
dated 1742.
13 5/8 x 8 3/4 inches
Folger Shakespeare Library.

The Shakespeare Monument
By Peter Scheemakers
Westminster Abbey.
 Hubert Gravelot, 1744.
Claude du Bosc
Inscribed P.Scheemakers F. MDCCXL.
Peter Scheemakers, Pieter Scheemaeckers II (16 January 1691 – 12 September 1781),
by Andreas Bernardus de Quertenmont (1750 - 1835).
oil on canvas,
62.9 ,m x 48.9 cm , 
National Portrait Gallery.
Behind is a model of his Shakespeare Monument in Westminster Abbey (see above).
The Lead Statue of Shakespeare after Scheemakers
by John Cheere.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Two more (rather poor quality) images above of the lead statue of Shakespeare at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
The Lead Statue of William Shakespeare.
John Cheere
Stratford on Avon Town Hall.
Stone Statue of William Shakespeare
by Peter Scheemakers
Wilton House.
Mr Garrick delivering his Ode, at Drury Lane Theatre,
on dedicating a building and erecting a statue, to Shakespeare.
NB The Statue is a version of the Westminster Abbey Monument.
105 x 170 mm. (cut to the image edges)
British Museum.
 Engraving by John Lodge, 1769.
Mr Garrick delivering his Ode, at Drury Lane Theatre,
on dedicating a building and erecting a statue, to Shakespeare.
228 x 163 mm.
British Museum.
Scheemakers in the London Press, 1741 and 1748.

Scheemakers moves from Old Palace Yard Westminster to Vine Street, off Piccadilly.
London Daily Post, 22 December 1741.
London Evening Post 22 April 1748.
 "Shakespear's Jubilee / the 6th and 7th of September, / at Stratford upon Avon / This ticket admits one on the 6th to / The Oratorio / the Dedication Ode / the Ball / And to the Great Booth at the Fireworks / One Guinea".
A quote above the statue reads "We ne'er shall look upon his like again".
108 x 174 mm.
British Museum.
Portrait after Edward Francis Burney (1760 -1848) who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1780 - 1803, after Scheemakers' memorial statue of Shakespeare in Westminster Abbey; full length standing, leaning with right elbow on a pile of books, pointing with left hand to an excerpt of Prospero's lines from the Tempest 'The Cloud [...] Leave not a wreck behind' on a paper beneath them, ankles crossed, looking towards the viewer, the books on a plinth decorated with busts of kings; St Peter standing on a lower plinth on the left, holding a scroll and pointing at his gospel (2, 3:13) : "Thy shall pass [...] righteousness"; illustration to an unidentified book.
Engraving with etching 246 x 200 mm.
British Museum.
 Engraving by Caroline Watson after Robert Edge Pine.
Published for Irelands Mirror.
230 x 127mm
British Museum.
Two burly, tough-looking sailors stand before Kent's monument to Shakespeare (r.). They read the inscription to which the figure of Shakespeare points: 'The Cloud Capt Towers, \ The Goreeous Palaces, . . . Leave not a Wreck [sic] behind' ['Tempest', IV. i]. One (l.), who wears his hat, in which is a tobacco-pipe, says: "Captain Towers!! who the Devil can this Capt Towers be? - Rot me if ever I heard of his Name or that of the Ship, did You Jack?" The other, who holds his hat, answers: "No, but I take it the Cloud must have belonged to the Mounseers, for you know that's what they call the place Boney lives at" [i.e. St. Cloud], Both hold heavy cudgels. 27 August 1804.
Engraving by Charles Williams
Pub. Forres, 1804.
Hand-coloured etching.
British Museum.