E. H. Baily, sculptor of the Nelson on Nelson's Column, was a native of Bristol, the son of a carver of ships' figure-heads. He showed early promise in carving and wax modelling, and in 1807 entered the studio of Flaxman. He then became chief modeller to Rundell and Bridge, a leading gold and silversmiths (he retained this connection for 25 years), and also was a student at the Royal Academy Schools from 1809. He exhibited much at the Academy, and was elected ARA in 1817, and full RA in 1821.
Baily's output consisted mainly of portrait busts and statues, often very large, and a variety of classical works, as well as domestic groupings such of the 'Mother and Child' type. He favoured an idealised slightly over-sweet style for these latter, working in white marble. The figure that made his reputation was Eve at the Fountain, shown at the Academy in 1818. This work is now at Bristol, with later versions elsewhere, and was further popularised through engravings and a Parian ware figure by Minton.
By contrast, Baily's church monuments include some very much in the style of Flaxman, and others rather more conventional, with girls leaning on pillars and so forth.
In London, apart from the Nelson in Trafalgar Square, Baily provided half the sculpture for Marble Arch, some of the exterior work on Buckingham Palace, and various monuments in St Pauls and Westminster Abbey. He also has one work near that other column, for the Duke of York, in Waterloo Place - it is the Pallas Athenae on the portico of the Athenium. In Chelmsford, County town of Essex, is Baily's Chief Justice Tindal, in a square of the same name. A statue of Sir Robert Peel is in Bury, and an Earl Grey is on another column, in Newcastle. Further work is in the Bristol gallery, and in the Cathedral there, and also a figure in the cathedral in Manchester. Among works abroad by Baily are Sir Richard Bourke for Sydney, Australia, and Sir Charles Metcalfe for Kingston, Jamaica.
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