Sir Thomas Brock RA (1847-1922)

Bartle Frere, by Thomas Brock.

The sculptor Thomas Brock was born in Worcester, and studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1867. He had previously worked in the studio of the sculptor J. H. Foley, and when that artist died, Brock completed many of his unfinished commissions. This gave him a smooth route into respectability. He became ARA in 1883 and RA in 1891, his diploma work being a bust of Lord Leighton PRA.

Brock produced many portraits and memorial sculptures. These works included Sir Bartle Frere in the Victoria Embankment Gardens, the tomb of Leighton in St Paul's Cathedral (1900) (and the bust of him in the National Portrait Gallery) and on Charing Cross Road the statue of the actor Henry Irving. On The Mall is a good Captain Cook, and a statue of Gainsborough is on the staircase in the Royal Academy. His greatest triumph, however, was the Queen Victoria Memorial (1906-24), which won him a knighthood. Outside London, he has another Queen Victoria in Birmingham, an equestrian statue of the Black Prince (1902) for City Square in Leeds (see the walk there), and a portrait sculpture of Colman is at the Castle Museum, Norwich. We may also note a Sir Roland Hill in Kidderminster, a Bishop Philpott in Worcester Cathedral, a Gladstone Monument with two allegorical figures by St George's Hall, Liverpool (picture of one of the figures shown here) and a Bishop Hervey in Wells Cathedral.

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