Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Bust of R.Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (1830-1918) 1894

William Birnie Rhind 

Bust of R.Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (1830-1918), William Birnie Rhind
19th Century
28 inches 71 cm high
Royal Scottish Academy 1895 (no.338) Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts 1896 (no.834) Royal Academy 1899, (no.1922)
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A bust of the Marquis of Salisbury by Rhind is noted as having been ''Modelled from life, June 1894, for the Scottish Conservative Club''(1). The club is now defunct, but the inscription and date indicate that this is the same item. Given the considerable amount of exposure that the work received via the Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy and Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, Rhind and his patrons obviously thought it a success, but whilst later half-size bronze versions were exhibited and sold c.1900-1930, no ensuing versions in marble appear to exist.

William Birnie Rhind was born and educated in Edinburgh, enrolling at the Edinburgh School of Design and going on to spend five years at the RSA Life School. He carved portraits, decorative works and memorial groups, the most notable examples being the Boer War Memorials on Edinburgh''s Princes'' Street (an equestrian statue for the Scots Greys) and the Mound, and further executed public monuments in Canada, India and Australia. Ad vivum busts of important sitters are unusual in Rhind''s oeuvre - his best known works are posthumous busts of Prominent Scots such as Mary, Queen of Scots, Burns and Montrose. A bust of Queen Victoria was also commissioned by the Scottish Conservative Club (exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1899, no.240), but it is not known whether or not this was taken from life. Furthermore, the National Portrait Gallery archives register just two other busts of Salisbury - one by an unknown hand, the other by W.Theed (in the collection of the current Marquess at Hatfield). This is not to discount the possible existence of others, but to indicate the scarcity of correct images of the Statesman.
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