Statues - Hither & Thither

Great Britain
Birmingham
West Midlands (county)

West Midlands

Chancellor's Court
(Aston Webb Building, University of Birmingham)

'Pantheon of the Immortals'

Beethoven, Virgil, Michelangelo, Plato, Shakespeare, Newton, Watt, Faraday and Darwin
Henry Pegram
1907

Birmingham /  'Pantheon of the Immortals'

Description

Frieze of nine life-size statues in Darley Dale stone in niches in the main façade of the University of Birmingham's Great Hall. From left to right they depict (the names are inscribed at the side of the niche and on the base):

Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
  1. beethoven
    Ludwig van Beethoven (Bonn 1770 - Wien 1827), German composer and pianist, (Wikipedia).
  2. virgil
    Virgil, Publius Vergilius Maro (70 - 19 BC), ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period (Wikipedia).
  3. michelangelo (on the side: michael angelo)
    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (Caprese 1475 - Rome 1564), Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance (Wikipedia).
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    1
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    2
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    3

  4. plato
    Plato, Greek: Πλάτων (428/427 or 424/423 - 348/347 BC), philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece and an influential figure in philosophy, central in Western philosophy (Wikipedia).
  5. shakespeare
    William Shakespeare (Stratford-upon-Avon 1564 - id. 1616), English poet and playwright (Wikipedia).
  6. newton
    Sir Isaac Newton (Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Lincoln, 1643 - Kensington, 1727), English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian (Wikipedia).
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    4
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    5
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    6

  7. watt James Watt (Greenock, Renfrewshire 1736 - Handsworth, Birmingham 1819), Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world (Wikipedia).
  8. faraday
    Michael Faraday (Newington Butts, England 1791 - Hampton Court, Middlesex 1867), English scientist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry (Wikipedia).
  9. darwin
    Charles Darwin (Shrewsbury 12 February 1809 - Downe 19 April 1882), English naturalist who realised and presented compelling evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors (Wikipedia)
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    7
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    8
    Birmingham - 'Pantheon of the Immortals'
    9

Annotation

The vision of Joseph Chamberlain, the founder of the University, for the university was of 'a school of universal instruction, not confined to any particular branch of knowledge but taking all knowledge in its province'. Such a spread of knowledge, through the various branches of the arts and sciences, is reflected in the choice of figures for these stone sculptures.

The frieze was carved in situ by Henry Pegram. The lines of the five blocks of stone which continue through to the façade of the building are visible.

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Darwin, Charles
  • Engineer
  • Faraday, Michael
  • Michelangelo
  • Naturalist
  • Newton, Isaac
  • Painter
  • Pegram, Henry
  • Philosopher
  • Physicist
  • Plato
  • Sculptor
  • Shakespeare, William
  • Virgil
  • Watt, James
  • Writer / poet
  • Location N 52°26'57" W 1°55'50"

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    Item Code: gbwm069; Photograph: 24 June 2014
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt