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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Lady Feodora Gleichen (1861–1922)

Sculptor and medallist. Feodora Georgina Maud Gleichen was the eldest daughter of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1833–1891), a naval officer and, from 1866, himself a sculptor. He was the son of Queen Victoria’s half-sister, after whom Feodora was named. Feodora Gleichen studied firstly in her father’s studio and then at the Slade School of Fine Art, under Alphonse Legros. She completed her studies in Rome, taking a studio there for several winters from 1891 and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1892. An important early work, for the children’s hospital in Montreal, Quebec, was the life-size group in marble of Queen Victoria surrounded by children, 1895. Her Diana Fountain, 1899, is in Hyde Park. She won commissions in open competition to design and execute a decorative bronze relief, Queen Hatasu of Egypt, 1906, for the exterior of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and in an anonymous competition for an Edward VII Memorial, 1912, for the King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor. Her statue of Florence Nightingale was erected in 1914 outside the Royal Infirmary, Derby, and her 37th Division Memorial unveiled in October 1921 at Monchy-le-Preux, France (for which, shortly before her death, the French government made her a member of the Légion d’honneur). Photographs of a selection of her works were published in the Illustrated London News (22 December 1906, p. 944). The Royal Society of British Sculptors accorded Gleichen the posthumous honour of being its first female member.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 301–03; A. Garrihy, ‘Gleichen, Lady Feodora Georgina Maud (1861–1922)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004; Mapping Sculpture; G.T. Noszlopy, Public Sculpture of Birmingham (ed. J. Beach), Liverpool, 1998, pp. 173–74; M.H. Spielmann, British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-day, London, 1901, p. 161; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 75–76.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Gleichen, Feodora, Lady

Lady Feodora Gleichen (1861–1922), 1890. Album: Photographs. Royal Portraits, vol. 45,
Royal Collection Trust (photo: public domain)