Achilles shouting from the Trenches, ca. 1868
Thomas Woolner RA (1825 - 1892)
RA Collection: Art
In 1866 Thomas Woolner was commissioned to design a Gladstone Memorial for Oxford University. The finished sculpture consists of a bust of Gladstone resting upon a three sided plinth decorated with carved reliefs of scenes from Homer's Illiad. The Royal Academy's sculpture is after the front panel of this plinth. The original Gladstone sculpture was intended for the Bodleian Library but has since been relocated to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
When the first version of this Woolner's relief was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1868, William Michael Rossetti praised it saying -
'our hero shouts to the Greeks a superhuman cry, while Pallas overshadows him with her aegis, is a most vigourous and admirable composition; indeed, but for its small size, one would be minded to call it the finest thing Mr. Woolner has yet exhibited.' (Notes on the Royal Academy Exhibition, London: John Camden Hotten, 1868, 'Part I', p. 27)
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