Nelson’s Column Trafalgar Square Plaque, 1850
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Overall: 46.5cm (18.25in) x 48.5cm (19in)
Electrotype. A reduction of the Trafalgar or Death of Nelson plaque at the foot of Nelson’s Column, London. After John Edward Carew. Nelson depicted immediately after receiving his mortal wound; Captain Hardy turned towards him whilst sailors to the left take aim at the marksman who dealt the mortal blow. Inscribed in relief with Nelson’s famous signal ‘England expects every man will do his duty’. Plaque 32.5 x 34cm. Contained in ebonised frame with gilt slip.
An identical plaque in the National Maritime Museum collection is dated to circa 1850 and might be considered near contempoary with the installation in 1849 of the high-relief bronze panel by John Edward Carew (c. 1782-1868) at the base of Nelson's Column. The Death of Nelson is Carew’s best known work. It is one of four panels; the others represent Nelson’s principal victories and are each by a different sculptor.
John Edward Carew (c.1782-1868) was born in Tramore, Ireland and studied art in Dublin. Around 1809, he came to London to work for Sir Richard Westmacott. For part of the time he worked with Westmacott he also had his own studio in the Edgware Road. In 1831 he moved to a studio in Brighton, to be nearer Petworth House, home of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont who was his main patron from the mid-1820s until the earl's death in 1837. At the Earl’s death Carew sued for lost payment but his claim was disproved. He was declared bankrupt in 1842. In the years following the court case, Carew received several prominent public commissions, including the statue of Richard Whittington for the facade of the Royal Exchange (1844).
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