The William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné

Master record for Schaaf no. 5521

Two Neoclassical monuments at Westminster Abbey

Attributed to: Calvert Richard Jones, William Henry Fox Talbot

Location: London

Keywords: Sculpture

This is a photograph of two Neoclassical monuments in Westminster Abbey. The photograph is probably by Calvert Richard Jones, but may possibly be by Talbot.

In the bottom left of the image is the monument dedicated to Elizabeth Southwell Warren (d. 1816) by Sir Richard Westmacott (1775-1856). It features one of Westmacott's most famous works, known as the 'Distressed Mother'.

To the right is a view of the back of a separate, larger and more complex monument by the sculptor, John Flaxman (1755-1826), dedicated to William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield (1705-1793). Murray was buried in the north transept of Westminster on 28 March 1793, while his later monument by Flaxman dates from 1801.

The photograph shows the back of Murray's wigged head and shoulders, near the middle of the top edge of the image. The cylindrical mass which forms the centre of the monument looks like a column, but is actually the back of Murray's seat and bears a Latin inscription. The figure standing to the left represents, Wisdom, unfolding the Book of Law. The nude figure seated to the right is a youthful representation of Death.

This photographic view of the back of Flaxman's monument to Murray is rare, as most photographs show it from the front. The photograph is even more unusual because the Flaxman monument was moved to the west aisle of the Abbey in 1933. As such, the photographer has captured a rare view of the back of the monument in its original site.

The above information is courtesy of Ann Compton, Project Director and Editor of, 'Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain & Ireland 1851-1951'.

Objects within this record