Naval and Military Power

Naval and Military Power (The Victoria Memorial)” by Sir Thomas Brock, K.C.B., R.A. (1847-1922) 1911. Gilded Bronze. Facing the Mall, London. Compare the plaster sketch model published in the 1911 Studio.

Water is an important element in this basic part of the scheme, for, as suggesting Britain's sea-power, from bronze sculptured fountains, set in marble retaining-walls, which curve gracefully round the podium, on either side, between the approaches, cascades fall continuously into great marble basins. On the walls themselves, some 210 feet of marble, sea-waves, in which Tritons and Nereids, with dolphins and seahorses, disport with joyous rhythmic motion, are carved in relief, with careful and vivacious modelling and decorative effect. Over the curved tops of the handsome fountain-arches are to be placed, when completed, two colossal bronze groups. The one, symbolising Naval and Military Power, comprises a reclining nude female figure with an emblematic ship in her arms and a sea shell for helmet on her head, in line with a male figure handling a small sword and wearing an ancient helmet. The other group, Science and Art, is composed also of nude ideal figures in recumbent positions, the female with a palette and brush, the male with a pair of compasses. Sir Thomas is still at work on these groups — Malcolm C. Salaman

Rear view of Naval and Military Power showing the Medusa shield. [Click on this photograph and that below to enlarge them.]

High relief of a Merman beneath “Naval and Military Power”. [Click on photograph to enlarge it.]

Related Material

Photograph at top by George P. Landow; others by Robert Freidus [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 it in a print one.]


Beattie, Susan. The New Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.

Salaman, Malcolm C. “Sir Thomas Brock's Queen Victoria Memorial.” The Studio 53 (June 1911) 29-40. Internet Archive digitized from a copy in the University of Toronto Library.

Last modified 25 December 2010