Robert Peel by Matthew Noble. 1876. Bronze. Facing Parliament Square, London. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

"In the nineteenth-century debate whether sculptors should present their subjects, particularly portrait subjects, in modern or classical clothing, Noble chose the modern route, and as Benedict Read points out, "Noble seems to have been regarded as the principal purveyor of tight trousers: his statue of Peel in Parliament Square, London, would seem to bear this out, though the iconographic pattern in this respect is found also in Calder Marshall's statue of Peel in Manchester of over twenty years earlier, so this is possibly a fashion attached to the man; certainly his not being a peer will have emphasized the problem, since there would therefore be no robes to hide it under. In such a case as the Franklin (Waterloo Place, London) Noble would seem to be reducing the area of dispute” by means of a knee-length military frock-coat and on top of that a fur-lined surcoat" (Read, 169).

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Photographs 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 it in a print one.]


Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

Last modified 20 April 2013