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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Frederick Thrupp (1812–1895)

Sculptor. Born in London, Thrupp attended Henry Sass’s drawing school and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1830. In 1837 he went to Rome, where he received advice on sculpture from John Gibson, and is supposed to have made the acquaintance of B. Thorvaldsen. He returned to London in 1842, and exhibited an Arethusa Reclining and a Hindoo Throwing a Javelin at the Westminster Hall exhibition of 1844. Thrupp’s most conspicuous monuments were the two he created for Westminster Abbey, that to the politician and philanthropist, Sir Fowell Buxton, commissioned in 1846, and that to the poet Wordsworth erected in 1854. Over both of these commissions there were suggestions that Thrupp had benefited from favouritism, especially for the Wordsworth, where there were 42 entries to the competition. A commission for a statue of Timon of Athens for the Egyptian Hall of the Mansion House followed soon after the completion of the Wordsworth, but this was to be Thrupp’s last major commission. After 1860, he devoted himself mainly to sculpted interpretations of religious works by seventeenth-century British authors. In 1868, he exhibited bronze doors with panels illustrating Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which were later presented to the Bunyan Chapel in Bedford. Further sets of panels followed, illustrating Milton’s Paradise Lost and the poems of George Herbert. Towards the end of his life, Thrupp moved to Torquay, and after his death, his wife donated his studio contents to the Torquay corporation. The bequest has been housed since 1930 in the Torre Abbey Museum.

Bibliography (updated 2024): M. Greenwood, Survivals from a Sculptor’s Studio (from ‘Essays in the Study of Sculpture’), The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds 1999; M. Greenwood, ‘Thrupp, Frederick (1812–1895), sculptor’, ODNB, 2004; Mapping Sculpture; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 179, 243, 244, 248–49.

Philip Ward-Jackson, 2003

Thrupp, Frederick

Frederick Thrupp, by James Charles Dinham, after an unknown photographer, albumen cabinet card, c.1893, NPG x13227 (photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London)