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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Charles Bacon (1821–1886)

Sculptor. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy as a gem-cutter in 1842. In 1846 he entered the Royal Academy Schools on the recommendation of the author, Alarick Watts. In 1847 he showed a bust of Watts at the Royal Academy. In 1857 he showed a figure of Helen Veiled Before Paris at the British Institution. In 1861 he was commissioned to produce a statue of the explorer Sir John Franklin for Spilsby, Lincs. Bacon’s most ambitious work was the equestrian statue of Prince Albert, unveiled at Holborn Circus in 1874. In 1875 he produced another portrait statue, that of John Candlish for Sunderland, but portrait busts seem to have made up the bulk of his œuvre. Two of these, portraits of W.S. Hale and Dr G.F.W. Mortimer (1866), were presented to the City of London School, and form part of the Corporation of London’s art collection.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. xxxiii, xxxv; V. Knight, The Works of Art of the Corporation of London, London, 1986; Mapping Sculpture; I. Roscoe et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009; P. Usherwood et al, Public Sculpture of North-East England, Liverpool, 2000, pp. 181–82; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 198–204, 206, 219, 327, 340.

Philip Ward-Jackson, 2003; updated Terry Cavanagh April 2024