Print, Poetry and Posterity: Grinling Gibbons’s statue of Charles II (1684) for the Royal Exchange

Van Hensbergen, Claudine (2020) Print, Poetry and Posterity: Grinling Gibbons’s statue of Charles II (1684) for the Royal Exchange. Sculpture Journal, 29 (3). pp. 313-336. ISSN 1366-2724

10_3828_sj_2020_29_3_5-2021021501024.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
van Hensbergen_2020_Sculpture Journal_Print, Poetry and Posterity_AAM.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (232kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Grinling Gibbons’s statue of Charles II for the courtyard of the Royal Exchange, London, was unveiled in 1684 and quickly celebrated as the leading public sculpture of its age. Within a century, the work was so damaged it was replaced by John Spiller’s replica. Scholarly interest in Gibbons’s accomplishments in stone have always been overshadowed by attention to his limewood carvings, even though stone works constituted at least half of his professional output. This article reconstructs the design and importance of the Charles II statue through a series of early cultural responses to the work, including a detailed engraving by Peter Vanderbank and three published poems. These works allow us to appreciate the likely skill of this key sculptural output from the Gibbons workshop, viewing it through contemporary ideas of aesthetic and propagandistic value, in addition to perceiving the prominence it once held in London’s cityscape.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: V900 Others in Historical and Philosophical studies
W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2020 10:27
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2023 15:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics