Charles Darwin, by Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud
Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Léon-Joseph Chavalliaud (c.1858-1921)

c.1898

Marble

The Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool.

This is one of the eight statues by Chavalliaud, four in bronze and four in marble, standing on projecting pedestals at each corner of the octagonal Palm House. The subjects, selected and commissioned by Henry Yates Thompson as a gift to the people of Liverpool, represent pioneers in botanical study or the history of gardening, and discoverers who helped opened up the natural world.

This portrayal of Darwin resembles John Collier's well-known portrait of 1883 in the National Portrait Gallery, executed the year after Darwin's death; it is also very like Boehm's 1887 medallion of Darwin in Westminster Abbey. But "the idea of showing him contemplating the flowerbud may be Chavalliaud's own" (Cavanagh 198).

  • Detail
  • Victorian Liverpool
  • Photograph and text Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009.

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