Resource: Collingwood monuments

9 December, 2007 at 11:16 pm 9 comments

When it comes to art, I’m more in favour of paintings than sculptures. I admit that I feel a bit uncomfortable looking at realistic, three-dimensional figures (and quite obviously, my feelings are correct!).

So Greek or Roman statues are not really for me; I prefer the works of Giacometti or Tinguely. However, if you do research on the Royal Navy in the 18th century, there is no way you can avoid the various monuments erected in honour of Britain’s naval heroes.

I have come across a number of pictures which I found very informative and also touching. The artists among you might find the comparison between the draft for Collingwood’s monument in Newcastle and the actual sculpture very interesting (both by John Graham Lough).

Close-up of Collingwood’s monument in Tynemouth

What I like about the sculpture is that, beside all the hero-worship that comes with a monument, it’s still very down-to-earth, and I think it does Collingwood justice in its dignity.

Collingwood monument draft Collingwood monument

Collingwood’s monument at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London

Here’s where my interests in historic funeral customs and the Royal Navy meet. The monuments of the 18th century are usually loaded with allegories and a “hero-worship” that are a bit… overwhelming to our modern eyes. Well, at least to mine. I quite like this detail of the Collingwood-monument at St. Paul’s Cathedral by Richard Westmacott II, though – it’s peaceful.

Collingwood monument St. Pauls

I wonder if I’d get arrested if I’d put a cabbage there in reverence or plum cake rather than flowers… please ignore me, it’s late

Detail of Nelson’s monument at Guildhall, London

Nelson-monuments are usually loaded with a “heroism” that is a bit… overwhelming to our modern eyes. However, I absolutely love this detail on Nelson’s monument at Guildhall, London, showing a plain seaman:

Nelson monument seaman

I think this he is the perfect representant for the Royal Navy.

And because I want to show you an example for a truly hideous monument, and because I can’t stand him, and because he looks even more like the tosser he is next to Collingwood, and because Eveiya will have a laugh, here we have

Mel Gibson as William Wallace

Mel bloody Gibson as William Wallace

This – thing gets vandalised regularly. Tsss. Why might that be. Kids these days.

I know that many people think that Braveheart is a masterpiece and Mel Gibson a revelation for cinema. I think Braveheart is one of the crappiest movies ever made, an insult to Scotland and Mel Gibson an individual who needs more than one swift kick up his arse. This opinion is non-negotiable. ๐Ÿ˜›

Phew. More might follow, for now, I hope you’ll like these. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Entry filed under: 18th century, art, cuthbert collingwood, nelson, resource, royal navy. Tags: , , , , , .

Resource/art: Nelson as a midshipman “Lieutenant Samuel Blackwood (deceased)” on Amazon Germany

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. HMS dauntless  |  10 December, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Love Collingwood and the sailor and will send you the cabbage. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Must find the post I did about Rodney’s momument.

    Reply
  • 2. HMS dauntless  |  10 December, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Found it:

    http://hms-dauntless.livejournal.com/14014.html

    Reply
  • 3. joyfulmolly  |  10 December, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    AHAHAHA! Thank you – yes, that’s such a “Rodney-thing” to do! I really have to visit St. Paul’s again during my next trip. With rum and cabbage and plum-cakes! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply
  • 4. alexbeecroft  |  10 December, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Oh good grief, that Braveheart statue is almost as bad as the film deserves. Being English myself, the whole ‘the English are eeeevviiilll’ message of the thing has a tendency to creep me out, even when I know there were occasions when we deserved it ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, Braveheart is insulting to the Scottish as well, I reckon. At least, I’d be insulted if one of my great national heroes was played by Mel Gibson in an appalling haircut and an inauthentic kilt.

    Ever seen ‘Rob Roy’ with Liam Neeson? I really loved that.

    Collingwood is lucky with his monuments! They manage to pull off the trick of looking heroic as well as looking a bit like him. And yes, I love the sailor looking inappropriately Grecian with his sponge ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  • 5. joyfulmolly  |  11 December, 2007 at 1:00 am

    I’ve seen “Rob Roy” – I don’t know how historically accurate it was, but I’ll definitely rather sit through two hours of Liam Neeson than Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson, of all the people! How tacky can you get? No wonder the statue gets vandalised regularly. I can’t blame people for being upset, this is really…

    What I like about Collingwood’s monuments is, as you said, the likeness, but also how his character is presented. The personality is so difficult to catch, but they certainly managed.

    I see more icons coming up…

    Reply
  • 6. HMS dauntless  |  11 December, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Love “Rob Roy”. Great actors and wonderful costumes.

    No wonder the statue gets vandalised regularly.
    In theory, I should be frowning on this behaviour, but to be honest, it fills me with hope about the basic goodness of human nature and people’s innate love for beauty and taste. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  • 7. joyfulmolly  |  11 December, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Vandalism has to be frowned upon, agreed, but in this case, it’s more an act of… patriotism, I’d say. And I can’t promise I won’t poke my tongue out at that monument and stick a bubble gum to it incidentally at some point in my life…

    Reply
  • 8. Rob Airey  |  22 July, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Please could you tell me the source of the drawn image by Lough of Collingwood? Would be much appreciated!

    Reply
    • 9. Molly Joyful  |  22 July, 2011 at 11:47 am

      If I remember correctly, I found it in an old book on either Project Gutenberg or Google Books. I’ll have to look it up (I’m not the most organised person…)

      Reply

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