Commentary 2011 by Jacqueline Banerjee, who also provided the right-hand photograph (2009) in the second row. All other photographs by Robert Freidus (2011). Formatting by George P. Landow. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Cardiff Boer War (South African) Memorial by Albert Toft (1862-1949). 1909. Bronze on Portland stone plinth. Location: King Edward VII Street, Wales. Adjacent to Cardiff City Hall. [Click on these images and those below to enlarge them.]

In the crowning figure of the memorial, Peace is shown as a winged angel just alighted, her flowing robes blown back against her by the wind, and her flight feathers still holding the air and unevenly aligned; she bears not an olive branch but a whole sapling, complete with trailing root. The figure is a tour de force of the New Sculpture, less dramatic than Arthur Gilbert's Eros in Piccadilly Circus, but perhaps subtler — the wings being more naturalistic, for example. The seated figures, one male and one female, represent respectively War and Grief, with War to the left leaning against a round battle-shield and holding a sword, and Grief to the right with a harp on one side, the other arm resting on a shield, and a wreath in her hand. Again, the drapery is very finely executed. Many names are inscribed on the plinth, including those of Welshmen who fell while serving in the Highland Light Infantry, the Gordon Highlanders, the Royal Navy, the Army Medical Service, the St John's Ambulance Brigade and the South African Constabulary. A particularly worthy and touching tribute, the monument was raised by public subscription.

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Two views of Peace holding an uprooted tree on which a bird (the dove of peace) perches.

Two views of Peace, the first in which the lovely allegorical figure appears against a clear sky, the second in which she is seen against the Cardiff City Hall.

Grief, who sits holding the victor's wreath and flanked by a shield signifying war and a harp representing Ireland. The bronze plaque behind her bears the place names “Johannesberg” and “Belfast.”

Left: Two views of the male allegorical figure of War, a young man who holdsa sword and shield. Behind him appears names of two battles in South Africa, one of which is Dreifonten.

Related Material

References

Core Record PMSA. vads (for the materials etc.; this is an excellent online visual arts resource). Web. 28 Feb. 2011.


Victorian Web Homepage Visual Arts sculpture

Last modified 19 December 2011