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Henry Hugh Armstead RA, Nude studies of male figures for the external frieze on the Royal Albert Hall
Henry Hugh Armstead RA, Nude studies of male figures for the external frieze on the Royal Albert Hall

Nude studies of male figures for the external frieze on the Royal Albert Hall, by 1871

Henry Hugh Armstead RA (1828 - 1905)

RA Collection: Art

These nude studies relate to Armstead's designs for the Royal Albert Hall frieze. The mosaic and terracotta frieze on the exterior of the building depicts the 'Triumph of Art and Science' and is divided into compartments designed by Armstead, Armitage, Horsley, Marks, Pickersgill, Poynter, and Yeames. The frieze was manufactured by Minton, Hollins and Co. The portion designed by Armstead depicts 'Applied Mechanics' and represents 'the Lever, the Wedge, and the Screw, with figures of Archimedes and Watt'. It is possible that the two figures at the top of this sheet are connected with Armstead's depiction of 'the Lever'.

The small drawing on the bottom right showing a male figure being attacked by an eagle almost certainly represents the Titan Prometheus. There is also a larger drawing of this scene on the verso. These sketches are possibly connected with Armstead's design for a silver centrepiece for the Royal Academy which also represents Prometheus.

Object details

Title
Nude studies of male figures for the external frieze on the Royal Albert Hall
Artist/designer
Date
by 1871
Object type
Drawing
Medium
Pen and black ink over pencil on cream wove paper
Dimensions

308 mm x 258 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
04/2891
Acquisition
Given by Dr. Hugh Wells Armstead 1932
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