We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

John Gibson, to Mrs Blair

RA Collection: Archive

Archive context

Showing item 23 of 391 in this group

Reference code



John Gibson, to Mrs Blair


c. 1857



Extent & medium

1 piece

Historical Background

'Gibson's austere neo-classical design for the monument to the duke of Wellington for St Paul's Cathedral, the model for which he submitted to the open competition held in 1857, failed to make the shortlist of prizewinning designs; the commission was eventually awarded to Alfred Stevens' [DNB.]

Content Description

Copy letter communicating his views on a proposed design for the Wellington monument, and going on to elaborate his own ideas on what qualities such a national monument required. The letter contains a statement of Gibson's view on the depiction of contemporary clothing in sculpture: ". . . you may be certain that posterity will not dig for the fragments of our costume mon[umen]ts & place them in Museums as we do now those of the Greeks as objects of beauty."