The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project
(Registered Scottish Charity No. SC043826). Please visit our homepage at www.scottishmilitaryresearch.co.uk
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Percy Portsmouth

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> Sculptors & Artists
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jamiemcginlay



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 939
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:50 pm    Post subject: Percy Portsmouth Reply with quote

Percy Portsmouth 1874-1953: Elgin, Lossiemouth & Thurso

I’m afraid I don’t have much information on Portsmouth but there isn't much information on him and he was responsible for three war memorials at Elgin, Lossiemouth and Thurso so I’ll list what I have.

Percy Portsmouth was born in Reading, England in 1874.
He trained as an engineer before studying sculpture at Reading University and then the Royal College of Art. He later travelled to study in Paris and was influenced by Rodin.

At some time in the early 20th century he moved to Edinburgh and became head of sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art.

1910 an article was published in ‘The New Age’ praising his works.

1919 Exhibited ‘In Memoriam’ as design for part of a suggested women’s war memorial at the R.S.A. Exhibition.

1922 Elgin War Memorial – Bronze allegorical figure of ‘Peace and Victory’


The Northern Scot Newspaper gave the following description of the Elgin memorial before its unveiling:
The statue in bronze represents a heroic figure of Victory and Peace. The sword in the right hand is festooned with laurel, signifying Victory. The symbol in the raised hand is the torch of living memory surrounded by a laurel wreath, which is supported by little cherubs typifying Peace.
The attitude of the figure will be dignified and courageous, and the head will be slightly uplifted. The statue will be about 7 feet 6 inches from the feet to the top of the head.
The pedestal will be built of local freestone (Greenbrae) and will be erected by an Elgin firm. It will be about 12 feet high and bronze panels will be placed on three sides, containing the names of the fallen and the inscription.
The Elgin coat-of-arms will be placed in bronze just underneath the statue.

Its uncertain if Portsmouth was responsible for the overall concept and location of the war memorials he was involved with. More likely it was the architect who dictated the design and siting of these monuments. At that time sculptors like Portsmouth usually remained in Edinburgh modelling small bronzes and sketch models of inspirational and allegorical figures which they displayed at the R.S.A. exhibitions. Visiting architects might then incorporate these figures into their monuments (Alexander Carrick was an important exception to this system). Whoever was responsible for the memorials at Elgin and Lossiemouth clearly had a deep understanding of the importance of site and the way in which the monument would relate to its surroundings. At Elgin Portsmouth's austere classical figure and the tall curved and corniced pedestal is in perfect harmony with the Doric facade of the Town Hall behind while the Lossiemouth memorial makes spectacular use of the cliff face, fully integrating the memorial into this local feature to make it a part of the monument itself and give it a grandeur that it would not otherwise have achieved.
Undated – (immediate post war years) Lossiemouth (below) and Thurso War Memorials

Lossiemouth war memorial – seated bronze allegorical figure of ‘Victory and Peace’

The Northern Scot reported the unveiling of the Lossiemouth memorial with the following description:
The body of the memorial, which is built into a part of the rock opposite the station, is constructed of polished freestone from Greenbrae with a heavy moulded base about 12 feet wide. It is surmounted by an entablature upon which a bronze panel with the names of the fallen inscribed is affixed. A bronze figure representing ‘Victory and Peace’ rests on the top. In his left hand is a sword pointing downwards. Both arms rest on the entablature.

Thurso war memorial – bronze allegorical victory of ‘Victory and Peace’ represented by a warrior protecting child.


After WWI he appears to have resigned his teaching post at the ECA.

1926 executed the figurative sculptures ‘Survival of the Spirit’ for above the entrance door; and ‘Freedom’ and Charity’ for the niches on the exterior wall of the Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle.

At some time before or during WWII he moved with his wife to Rushden in Hertfordshire, where he lived at Youngloves and carried out works including sculpture for the local church for his patron the Duke of Wellington.

Died 1953



Other Works:
‘Mother and Child’
‘Ramsey McDonald’


Last edited by jamiemcginlay on Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
IanA



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 950

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
IanA



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 950

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thurso War Memorial
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Adam Brown
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7369
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Henry Paulin was one of his students in Edinburgh and you can see Portsmouth's influence on his work.

Regards

Adam
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Adam Brown
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7369
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ADP has recently posted images of the Olrig Parish War Memorial in Castltown, Caithness. It has another Portsmouth sculpture.



Adam
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> Sculptors & Artists All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com