Philosophy and Inspiration
Paul Raphael Montford (1868-38)
One of four groups on the corner abutments of Kelvin Way Bridge, Glasgow
Montford's four pairs of seated figures on this bridge have been described as "the only examples of major figurative sculptures of this kind in Glasgow" (McKenzie 236). This pair is on the north-west corner, and shows Philosophy as a bearded man looking at the skull beside him, while Inspiration is shown as a woman holding a lute. The models for this group were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1917. The finished work (after many delays due to the war and problems with cost), is highly celebrated. Ray McKenzie calls the Kelvin Way Bridge sculpture as a whole "an outstanding artistic achievement by any standards" (240), pointing out its symbolic richness and vigour. [For more small images of these very striking sculptures, see offsite here (a "Glasgow — City of Sculpture" site.]
Photograph, caption, and commentary below by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009.