Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Two Equestrian Statues by Joseph Wilton

The Two Lead Equestrian Statues by Joseph Wilton.
Overlife size.
George III, Berkeley Square, London.
Erected 1766.
Removed 1827.
George III, Bowling Green, New York.
Erected 1770.
Removed 1776.
Pub 17 March 1794.
H. Humphrey.
Outlines of the Opposition collected from the Designs of the most capital Jacobin Artists / A peep over the garden wall in Berkeley Square
Image from British Museum.
This appears to be sole image of this statue which was directed to be erected by Princess Amelia the King's sister.
John Thomas Smith in his excellent but scurrilous memoire Nollekens and his Times of 1829 remarks 'I am sorry to declare that that miserable specimen of leaden figure taste the equestrian statue of King George III. lately standing in the centre of Berkeley Square was executed under the direction of Mr Wilton on his premises in Queen Ann Street East. It was modelled by a French artist of the name of Beaupre recommended to Wilton by Pigalle as an excellent carver of flowers'.
Beaupre 'came over to England to try his fortune' in about 1764. He exhibited at the Society of Artists between 1764 and 1767 giving his address as at Mr Machau's in the Piazza Covent Garden, The Orange Coffee House and at Mr Burrell's Charing Cross. He showed a sketch of a monument at the Free Society in 1766. He moved to Dublin in 1777 but nothing more was heard from him.

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