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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Antonio Raggi (1624–1686)

Sculptor and stuccoist born at Vico Morcote, near Lugano. He moved to Rome in 1645, basing himself there for the rest of his life. He worked initially in Alessandro Algardi’s workshop, but in 1647 became one of 39 sculptors working for Gianlorenzo Bernini on the decorations for St Peter’s. Raggi rose to become Bernini’s chief assistant, working from his master’s drawings and models on such important pieces as the figure of the Danube (1650–51) for the Four Rivers Fountain in the Piazza Navona, Rome. In 1657, Raggi was elected to the Accademia di San Luca and in 1662 received his first independent commission, a life-size marble relief, the Death of St Cecilia (completed 1666) for S. Agnese in Agone, also Piazza Navona. In the same years, he executed in stucco, for the interior of the dome of S. Andrea in Quirinale, St Andrew in Glory, with a ring of supporting figures. A major work of the 1670s is his cycle of stucco figures in the clerestory of the nave and transept of Il Gesù, framing Gaulli’s ceiling fresco of the Adoration of the Name of Jesus. Raggi also worked for the architect Carlo Fontana, contributing all the sculpture for the Ginnetti Chapel in S. Andrea della Valle (1671–81), including the life-size marble figure of Cardinal Marzio Ginnetti kneeling at prayer, a compelling display of the portraitist Raggi at his best. His most important work in England is his effigy of Lady Jane Cheyne for her funerary monument, installed in 1672 in Chelsea Old Church.

Sources: Oxford Art Online: Benezit Dictionary of Artists and Grove Art Online; Wittkower, R., Art and Architecture in Italy 1600–1750, London (1958), 1982, pp. 310–12.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Mario Raggi (1821–1907)

Sculptor. He was a pupil of the sculptor Matthew Noble. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1854. His works include the bronze reliefs on the Monument to Dr Evan Pierce (Denbigh, 1872) and the nude Vulcan on Sheffield Town Hall (1897). He first achieved prominence with his statue of Benjamin Disraeli (1883) for Parliament Square, London. Other public statues by Raggi include Howel Gwyn (Victoria Gardens, Neath, Port Talbot, 1889), Henry Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Swansea (1886, removed to St David’s Centre), and William Ewart Gladstone (Albert Square, Manchester, 1901). His portrait busts include Admiral Rous (1878) Cardinal Newman (1881), both in terracotta. His last RA exhibit was a marble bust of the Duchess of Rutland, shown in 1895. Raggi also executed ideal works.

Sources: Graves, A., The Royal Academy of Arts. A Complete Dictionary of Contributors …, 4 vols, London, 1905; Wyke, T., Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011

Ian Rank-Broadley (b. 1952)

Sculptor and medallist. He studied sculpture at Epsom School of Art, 1970–74, under Bruce McLean, and went on to postgraduate studies at Slade School of Art, 1974–76, under Reg Butler, Michael Kenny and John Davies; a Boise Travelling Scholarship funded visits to Naples, Florence, Venice and Paris, 1976–77. On his return he worked as an assistant to Reg Butler. In 1989, he was elected ARBS and in 1994, FRBS. In 1995, he was elected to the Art Workers Guild (committee member, 1999–2002; Trustee, 2002–05). He was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths (and granted Freedom of the City of London) in 1996, served on the Company’s Modern Collection Committee, 2004–10, and made a Liveryman, 2009. He was a Trustee, 2010–13, of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London. His public sculptures include 14 bronze figures for the Armed Forces Memorial, 2007, National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire (Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture, 2008); a memorial to Dean Colet, 2010, St Paul’s Cathedral; Diana, Princess of Wales, 2021, Sunken Garden, Kensington Palace; and Licoricia and her son Asser, 2022, Winchester. Rank-Broadley’s breakthrough as a designer of coins came in 1997 when he won the Royal Mint competition for the new effigy of Queen Elizabeth II to be used on United Kingdom and Commonwealth coinage from 1998 (he was granted two sittings to help him refine his design); in 2012 he was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Vicenza Numismatica.

Sources: Ian Rank-Broadley website; Rodgers, K., ‘Elizabeth II reaches reign milestone’, Numismatic News, 10 September 2015.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Ian Rank Broadley (photo: Steve Russell Studios)

James Frank Redfern (1837–76)

Ecclesiastical and architectural sculptor born at Hartington, Derbyshire. In c.1856 his talent for sculpture was brought to the attention of the local landowner and MP, Alexander Beresford Hope, who paid for the young man to study in London, under J.R. Clayton, and in Paris, at Charles Gleyre’s atelier. Redfern exhibited regularly at the RA from 1859 onwards, mostly religious subjects with some portrait busts. His work for George Gilbert Scott, includes 60 figures for the west front of Salisbury Cathedral (1866–70); eight figures of the Virtues in gilded cast copper and four Lions in gilded bronze on the Albert Memorial (completed by 1872), the Apostles and Evangelists for the Octagon at Ely Cathedral (1868–76); the Evangelists plus SS Peter and Paul for the south porch of Gloucester Cathedral, plus figure groups for the reredos and figures for the sedilia (c.1870–75); and a Christ in Majesty for the chapter house at Westminster Abbey. Redfern also worked for Bodley and Garner, for example, executing figure carving for Holy Angels, Hoar Cross, Staffordshire (c.1873–76). Despite his steady employment by leading architects of the day and the considerable output of his studio, Redfern died in penury. Scott, one of his main employers, wrote: ‘I had thought him a successful man, but it turns out now that his spirits were broken by pecuniary distress, and that he had fallen into the hands of cruel usurers, who made his life a torment to him, and this so undermined his health that he fell a victim to some, otherwise slight, attack of indisposition.’

Sources: Hardy, E., ‘Redfern, James Frank (bap. 1837, d. 1876)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; Mapping Sculpture; Scott, G.G., Personal and Professional Recollections, London, 1879. p. 307; plus, relevant editions of Pevsner’s ‘Buildings of England’.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

James Ritchie (fl. 1834–1855)

Edinburgh sculptor, who occupied studios successively at St John’s Hill, Lothian Road and West Maitland Street. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy, showing mostly portrait busts and narrative works, but also occasional designs for monuments. He played an important role in the development of the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, carving the statue of The Last Minstrel, and designing a series of figurines to be added to the model to test the impact of a sculpture programme on its overall appearance. In much recent literature, including Rupert Gunnis’s Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660–1851 (1968), W.T. Johnston’s Dictionary of Scottish Sculptors (1993–95) and Peter McEwan’s Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture (2004), The Last Minstrel is incorrectly attributed to John Ritchie, the brother of Alexander Handyside Ritchie, to whom James may have been related.

Sources: Edinburgh City Archives, SL254, ‘Scott Monument Minute Book 1840–44’, 30 November 1841; Laperierre, C.B. de, The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1829–1990 … (4 vols), Wiltshire, 1991; The Scotsman, 16 November 1844, p. 3; Woodward, R.L., ‘Nineteenth Century Scottish Sculpture’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1977, pp. 207–08.

Ray McKenzie, 2018

Robinson & Cottam (active 1852–1865)

Art bronze foundry whose origins date to 1837 when Charles Robinson became a partner in the engineering and founding firm, Bramah & Co of Eaton Lane, Pimlico, which thereafter operated as Bramah and Robinson. By 1841, the firm was listed as Charles Robinson (late Bramah and Robinson), Pimlico Road; by 1843, Robinson & Son, and subsequently Robinson & Co. Although the firm had begun submitting tenders to cast art bronzes by the late 1840s, it was only in 1852, following Charles Robinson’s retirement and the establishment of his son, Frederic’s, partnership with Edward Cottam, that the firm entered art bronze casting in a major way. The breakthrough for the foundry was the development of a process for casting figures in one piece, only the head sometimes being cast separately. Following Robinson & Cottam’s first success with this method – William Behnes’s Sir Robert Peel for Leeds – the Times (11 May 1852) declared that ‘Mr. F. Robinson, of Pimlico … by this work, has introduced a new era into a department of art’. Robinson & Cottam’s successful introduction of the more predictable and less hazardous sand-casting process for large bronze statues made them the leading art bronze foundry of the 1850s; their clients included many of the most successful sculptors of the day, in addition to Behnes, Edward Hodges Baily, William Calder Marshall, George Gammon Adams, John Evan Thomas, William Theed II, Matthew Noble, Patrick MacDowell and John Graham Lough. Robinson & Cottam’s statue casting operations came to an abrupt halt in the mid-1860s, following the termination of their lease at Lower Belgrave Place during the Marquis of Westminster’s transformation of that particular portion of Pimlico into, as the Times, 24 August 1865, described it, ‘an aristocratic colony’. The firm relocated to Battersea in 1865 and although at least one of its final castings from that date bears the Battersea address – Matthew Noble’s Sir James McGrigor for the Royal Hospital, Chelsea (now Royal Military College, Sandhurst) – it is more probable that it was cast on the Pimlico site.

Main sources: Art Journal: (i) 1 January 1852, p. 21, (ii) 1 March 1852, pp. 98–99, (iii) 1 September 1852, p. 291; Athenaeum, 3 July 1852, p. 729; Illustrated London News, 6 March 1852, p. 189; Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspaper, 1 February 1852, p. 9; NPG British Bronze Sculpture Founders; The Observer, 13 February 1869, p. 1; The Times: (i) 11 May 1852, p. 8, (ii) 24 August 1865, p. 8.

Terry Cavanagh August 2023

John Wenlock Rollins (1862–1940)

Sculptor trained at Birmingham School of Art, then South London Technical Art School under W.S. Frith, and finally the RA Schools, 1885–89. In 1885 and 1886, he won prizes in the National Art Competitions. In 1892, he was assistant to Thomas Stirling Lee on the series of relief panels for the exterior of St George’s Hall, Liverpool. Rollins executed much of the carved sculpture on Charles Henman II’s Croydon Municipal Buildings (1894–96): reliefs on the Town Hall porch (with W. Aumonier), around the Borough Court entrance, on the Clock Tower and on the Library frontage plus, to the right of the Library entrance, a statue of John Whitgift. For Charles’s brother, William Henman, Rollins carved three figures for the central entrance porch of Birmingham General Hospital (1896–97; since demolished) and two caryatids for the same city’s Midland Hotel (1903). For Aston Webb, 1905, he carved relief figures of William of Wykeham and John Thorpe for the V&A Museum’s Cromwell Road frontage. His is also the bronze statue of Queen Victoria, c.1903, at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. He exhibited at the RA 20 times between 1887 and 1913; his Sweet Song and Melody (RA 1904, no. 1679) was illustrated in Academy Architecture and Architectural Review, vol. 27, p. 119. Rollins lived for much of his adult life in Chelsea and South Kensington, working from Cedar Studios, Glebe Place, c.1891–c.1904, and subsequently 6 Wetherby Mews, c.1911–c.1911.

Sources: Beattie, S., The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; Gleichen, Lord E., London’s Open-Air Statuary, London, 1928; Lloyd, F., et al, Public Sculpture of Outer South and West London, Liverpool, 2011; Mapping Sculpture; Noszlopy, G., Public Sculpture of Birmingham (ed. J. Beach), Liverpool, 1998; Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Pierre-Louis Rouillard (1820–1881)

Sculptor of animals who was born and died in Paris. In 1837, he entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where he was a pupil of Pierre-Jules Cortot. He first exhibited at the Salon of 1837, and in 1842 won a third-class medal. From 1840 to 1881, he was a professor of sculpture at the École des Arts décoratifs. He ran a large and successful studio producing mostly large-scale works in cast iron, often for architectural projects. In 1864, he was commissioned by Sultan Abdulaziz to make sculptures for various locations in Istanbul. In 1866, he was made a chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur. In Paris, his work can be found in the Louvre’s Cour Lefuel (1857–58; four groups of fighting animals at the foot of the ramp to the former stables and a tympanum relief over the entrance); on the Opéra Garnier (1869; eagles on the west façade) and on the forecourt of the Musée d’Orsay (1878; Horse with a Harrow); in Toulouse, in the Grand Rond (a dog and a wolf, each protecting their young); and in England, in Lister Park, Bradford, a Stag, and on the piers of the Queen’s Gate entrance to Kensington Gardens, two groups of a Doe and Fawn.

Sources: Nella Buscot; Oxford Art Online – Benezit Dictionary of Artists; Wikipedia.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Samuel Ruddock (c.1828–1903)

Born in Horbury, Yorkshire, Ruddock was based in Lambeth by 1851, working firstly as a stone carver and then as a sculptor. He exhibited 34 works at the RA between 1856 and 1892, mostly religious, but with some ideal subjects. In 1862, he was awarded first prize in the carved stone panels section at the annual meeting to distribute prizes to ‘art-workmen’ at the Architectural Museum, South Kensington. By 1901, he was blind and living with his son, Oliver, also a sculptor. He was buried in Norwood Cemetery on 6 February 1903. His works include the Last Supperreredos, Trinity church, Ossett, Yorks (RA 1864); roundel with high relief bust of Christ, St Stephen’s church, Copley, Yorks (RA 1866); reredos, St James church, Louth (RA 1872); Death of St Joseph, high relief, Sligo Cathedral (RA 1874); The Good Samaritan, a relief for ‘the lodge of Consumptive Hospital, Brompton’ (RA 1877), now Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, Chelsea; and St Joseph with the infant Christ, Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Manchester (RA 1879)

Sources: Art Journal, 1 April 1862, pp. 110–11; Mapping Sculpture; Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Tommaso Rues (also Ruer, Ruez) (1636–1703)

Tommaso Rues was born in Brunico (or Bruneck) in the Italian province of South Tyrol. He trained in Venice, 1650–58, with the Bavarian stonecarver Giovanni Hach and later ran his own workshop in the San Giovanni Crisostomo district of Venice. A strong influence on his work was the Venice-based Flemish sculptor, Josse de Corte. Rues’s main works in Venice are: for Santa Maria della Salute, the Four Evangelists flanking the main entrance and a host of angels and several biblical heroines crowning the tympanum (1670s–early ’80s); for Il Redentore, figures of St. Mark and St. Francis for the façade (1678) and relief panels of Christ carrying the Cross and The Deposition for the high altar (1682); for the chapel of San Giovanni della Croce in Santa Maria di Nazareth (Church of the Scalzi), The Theological Virtues (1683); for the high altar of San Pantalon, St. Peter, St. John the Evangelist, St. Juliana and St. Paul; and for balustrade of the Porta di Terra at the Arsenal, figures of Vigilance and Abundance. Maichol Clemente has recently attributed to Rues on stylistic grounds, two marble busts, Diana and Minerva, at Waddesdon Manor, Bucks. Rues also executed the greater part of the sculpture on the Lady Altar, originally made for the church of San Domenico, Brescia, in 1693, since 1883 in Brompton Oratory, Kensington.

Sources: Clemente, M., ‘Tommaso Rues: contributo al catalogo’, Zbornik za umetnostno zgodovino (Nova vrsta), 49, 2013; Clemente, M., Tommaso Rues 1636-1703: A German Sculptor in Baroque Venice, Florence, 2016.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022