Faith and Fortitude

Faith and Fortitude on a late nineteenth-century Flemish Renaissance-style building which once housed the Scottish Temperance League. Richard Ferris (fl.1886-1915). 1893-94. Red Dumfriesshire sandstone. 106-8 Hope Street, Glasgow. Text and photograph by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009. [You may use this image 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.]

These are just two of the many embellishment to this five-storey building, which has the figure of Temperance at the very top of the two-stage gable. Fortitude (on the left) is a male figure holding a shield emblazoned with a vase, and Faith (on the right) is a female figure holding a shield emblazoned with a torch. These figures are luxuriantly draped, but others (such as two female figures in roundels) are much less so, leading Elizabeth Williamson et al.to conclude that "pleasure was not confined to imbibers of strong drink!" (228). It seems to have been quite an early commission for this sculptor: "the standard of the carving is not especially high," says Ray McKenzie (201). However, Ferris was later used by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, e.g. for the plaster panelling in the Willow Tea Rooms. The work is also of interest as an indication of the importance of the Temperance movement, still flourishing at this time.

Related Material

References

McKenzie, Ray, with contributions by Gary Nisbet. Public Sculpture of Glasgow. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2002.

Williamson, Elizabeth, et al. Glasgow (The Buildings of Scotland series). London: Penguin, 1990.


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Last modified 16 October 2009