Introduction

decorated initial 'M'unro, one of five sculptors whose work Benedict Read considers to represent possible Pre-Raphaelitism in sculpture, did not begin his association with Pre-Raphaelites all that well. According to W. Holman Hunt, Munro to whom Dante Gabriel Rossetti had confided the meaning of the then mysteriously secret initials "PRB," unwittingly had a role in periodical attacks on the young self-styled art revolutionaries that brought Hunt, Millais, and Rossetti financial hardship — at least, that is, until the poet Coventry Patmore persuaded John Ruskin to defend them in letters to The Times: "Gabriel avowed that little Munro had persisted for so long in beseeching him to tell the riddle, till, under pledge of secrecy, the mysterious monogram had been explained. By comparing the dates it became evident that the sculptor must have hurried away to Angus Reach, the writer, with intelligence of the dire meaning in the initials, so immediately after did the announcement appear" (II, 200). At any rate, Munro's inability to keep a secret does not seem to have affected his relations with Rossetti, who obtained commissions for him (as he did for J. L. Tupper) in Oxford.

Munro, Read points out, produced work in accord with the ideas of early Pre-Raphaelitism: Like Thomas Woolner, the one sculptor who was a member of the actual Brotherhood, he made "medallion portraits, of a formal purism that harks back to Italian Early Renaissance medals" (180). In addition, his Paolo and Francesca depicts "two intense-looking sharp-featured lovers from Dante" — lovers who had particular importance in Rossetti's imagination and whom he depicted in one of his most famous early works. Read concludes that Munro's later portrait busts have "a formal simplicity and purism that relates to the theory of Pre-Raphaelitism, taking as models works of art from periods before a more developed maturity has pushed out that breath of juvenile springtime" (180). Munro, we might say, follows the hard-edge realism of Hunt and early Millais, and in a few works employs Rossettian subjects. Like Hunt, he remained faithful to his early vision throughout his career. [GPL]

Biographical materials

[RA = Exhibited at the Royal Academy annual exhibition; BI = exhibited at the British Institution]

Works Illustrated in the Victorian Web

  • Boy with Dolphin, Hyde Park, London
  • Paolo and Francesca RA 1852 (1340), Wallington Hall
  • Josephine Butler, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
  • Mother and Child, National Museum, Cardiff
  • Posthumous bust of the artist David Scott R.S.A.
  • Thereza Story Maskelyne
  • Nevill Story Maskelyne
  • Undine, RA 1858 (1255) [Munro also exhibitd a work of the same name at the 1856 BI (545)
  • The Lansdowne Fountain
  • Autumn and Winter
  • Other Works in the round

  • Model of a Bust of Mrs. Banks, RA 1849 (1279)
  • Model of a Bust of a Gentleman, RA 1849 (1302)
  • Innocence — ”sketch of a head to be executed in marble”, RA 1850 (1392)
  • Marble bust (posthumous) of a lady — “unfinshed”, RA 1850 (1420)
  • The Child’s Playmate — “sketch in plaster”, BI 1850 (494)
  • Bust of Angus B. Beach, RA 1851 (1313)
  • Bust of a Lady, RA 1851 (1371)
  • A Boy’s Head — “in plaster”, BI 1850 (526)
  • The Young Highlander — “sketch in plaster”, BI 1851 (531)
  • Innocence — “a study in marble”, BI 1851 (532)
  • The Three Brothers Little Pet, RA 1853 (1306)
  • Egeria: sketch for a statue of a fountain, RA 1853 (1333)
  • Bust of a Lady, RA 1853 (1422)
  • The late Sir Robert Peel — a colossal bust to be placed . . . at Oldham, RA 1854 (1390)
  • John Everett Millais, Esq., A.R.A., RA 1854 (1523)
  • Mrs. H. D. Macleod, RA 1854 (1527)
  • Chester Bunsen — “bronze”, RA 1854 (1528)
  • Child Play — “a marble group — the children of Herbert Ingram, Esq,” RA 1855 (1410) [This was also BI (559)]
  • Lover's Walk — “sketch for a marble ,.” RA 1855 (1452); BI 1860 (646)
  • The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P.” RA 1855 (1481)
  • William Allingham, RA 1855 (1525)
  • Miss Nora Glynne — “marble”, RA 1855 (1557)
  • Dante — “marble bust”, RA 1856 (1304)
  • Marble bust of a Gentleman, RA 1856 (1336)
  • Marble bust of a Boy, RA 1856 (1365)
  • Repose; study of a baby in marble, RA 1856 (1374); BI 1857 (573)
  • Hippocrates — “model of statue to be presented by John Ruskin, esq. to the New Museum of Oxford,” RA 1857 (1232)
  • Henry Wentworth Acland, M.D., F.R.S. — “marble bust,” RA 1857 (1280)
  • Beatrice — “bust in marble,” RA 1857 (1306)
  • The sisters — “marble group,” RA 1857 (1309); BI 1858 (576)
  • A Study in marble — [with epigraph from Milton], BI 1858 (484)
  • Lovers' walk — “marble group,” RA 1858 (1213)
  • Adelaide Ristori — “marble bust,” RA 1858 (1247)
  • Bianca, child of Adelaide Ristori — “marble bust,” RA 1858 (1248)
  • Measurement by Foxglove; Edith and Emily, children of Gathorne Hardy, Esq., M.P., RA 1859 (1251)
  • The Hon. Admiral Campbell — “marble, posthumous,” RA 1859 (1328)
  • Robert Wiedeman Barrett Browning, Florence, 1848, RA 1859 (1358)
  • Bust of a little girl — “marble,” RA 1860 (965)
  • Mrs. Louis Huth — “marble,” RA 1860 (986)
  • Louis Huth — “marble,” RA 1860 (1041)
  • Lord Ashburton — “marble,” RA 1860 (1081)
  • A Child’s Head — “marble,” BI 1860 (641)
  • Sound of the Shell; Kenneth and Mary, children of Alex. Matheson, Esq., M.P. — “marble group”, RA 1861 (993)
  • Babe [or Child] Asleep — “marble,” RA 1861 (1001)
  • John Hardy, Esq., M.P. — “marble,” RA 1861 (1004)
  • Bust of a lady — “marble,” RA 1861 (1009)
  • Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie, of Seaforth — “marble,” RA 1861 (1036)
  • Mrs. George Butler — “marble,” RA 1861 (1072)
  • Sir William Armstrong,K.C.B.; to be placed in the Philosophical Institution, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, RA 1861 (1011)
  • Mother’s (or Maternal) Joy, BI 1861 (643) — 120 guineas
  • A little Girl’s Head, BI 1861 (644) — 60 guineas
  • The young hunter, RA 1862 (999)
  • The brothers — “marble group,” RA 1862 (1001)
  • Joan of Arc — “marble,” RA 1862 (1004)
  • Mrs. Edward Watkin — “marble,” RA 1862 (1006)
  • Mrs. Bowen — “marble,” RA 1862 (1008)
  • Master Herbert Ingram — “marble,” RA 1862 (1104)
  • W. Hunt, Esq., member of the Old Water Colour Society, RA 1862 (1137)
  • Adam Steuart Gladstone, Esq., Lieut.-Colonel of the Liverpool Rifle Brigade, RA 1863 (1033)
  • Young Romilly — “And holds a greyhound in a leash, etc.” — Wordsworth (1036)
  • Group in aluminium, RA 1863 (1080)
  • Miss Annie Leigh Smith, RA 1863 (1151)
  • Mrs. Ludlow, RA 1863 (1158)
  • General Shirreff, RA 1863 (1169)
  • Pippa — “study of a head, marble” BI 1863 (605)
  • Virginia — “marble, study of a head,” RA 1864 (879)
  • The Duke of Newcastle, K.G., RA 1864 (907)
  • Henry Taylor, D.C.L., RA 1864 (996)
  • Rev. T. Barker, RA 1864 (1022)
  • Boy asleep — “marble”, RA 1864 (1032)
  • Violet and Henry, the children of Mr. and Mrs. Crompton Roberts — “marble”, RA 1865 (906)
  • Arthur Bosanquet, Esq. , RA 1865 (932)
  • Rt. Hon. W. Hutt, M.P., RA 1864 (1047)
  • The late Rt. Hon. Sir James Stephen, K.C.B — “marble”, RA 1866 (993)
  • Master Walter Ingram — “marble”, RA 1866 (1030) Is this another version of the work above exhibited in 1862?
  • Mrs. Stephen A. Ralli, RA 1867 (1024)
  • Stephen A. Ralli, Esq., RA 1867 (1027)
  • The sisters — “ marble group”, RA 1868 (943)
  • The baffled hawk; marble statue of Ronald, son of Colonel Munro Ferguson of Raith and Novar, RA 1868 (959)
  • Joseph Mitchell, Esq., C.E. , RA 1868 (968)
  • Mrs. Harcourt Griffin, RA 1868 (1116)
  • George Carr Glynn, Esq., RA 1869 (1165)
  • Portrait bust — “marble”, RA 1869 (1184)
  • Undine, RA 1869 (1249)
  • The Earl of Dalhousie, K.G., RA 1870 (1063)
  • W. Cosmo Gordon of Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, RA 1870 (1112)
  • Another Reading
  • Arthur, King and the Knights of the Round Table, Oxford
  • Victor Cousin
  • Davy, Oxford
  • Galileo, Oxford
  • Grand Duchess Constantine of Russia
  • Ingram, Boston [may be work or works listed above exhibited at the RA in 1862 and 1866]
  • Leibniz, Oxford
  • Mary II, London
  • Newton, Oxford
  • Paolo and Francesca, Birmingham
  • Professor Quain
  • Queen Mary II (wife of King William III)
  • Trevelyan
  • Watt, Oxford
  • Watt, Birmingham
  • Other Works in bas and alto relief

  • The Seasons — freize for a chimneypiece, RA 1853 (1412)
  • Lady Constance Grosvenor — a medallion in marble, RA 1853 (1460; same as item immediately following?)
  • Lady Constance Gower, Marchioness of Westminster
  • Lady Alwyne Compton — “a medallion”, RA 1854 (1524)
  • W. B. Scott — “a bronze medallion”, RA 1854 (1531)
  • Medallion of Master Harry Acland, RA 1855 (1485)
  • Miss James, daughter of Sir Walter C. James, Bart. — “marble medallion,” RA 1855 (1553)
  • Marble medallion of the Rev. Dr. Wellesley, Principal of New Inn Hall, Oxford. President of the Oxford Art Society. — “Presentation portrait,” RA 1856 (1279)
  • Miss Agnes Gladstone and her brother Herbert — alto relievo marble, RA 1856 (1352)
  • Mrs. John Henry Gurney — “marble medallion,” RA 1858 (1266)
  • Sketch — “bas relief,” RA 1858 (1318)
  • Mrs. Tom Hughes — “medallion bust,” RA 1859 (1314)
  • Marble medallion of a Lady, RA 1859 (1336)
  • Mrs. George Smith — “marble medallion”, RA 1859 (1364)
  • A Little Boy — “marble medallion”, RA 1860 (972)
  • Mrs. George Stewart M'Kenzie — “marble medallion,” RA 1860 (1016)
  • Sabrina — “marble relievo,” RA 1861 (991)
  • Miss E. U. H. — “alto relievo,” RA 1865 (921)
  • Duchess of Vallombrosa — “alto relievo,” RA 1869 (1280)
  • Related Material

  • Pre-Raphaelitism in Victorian Sculpture
  • National Portrait Gallery, London
  • References

    Hunt, William Holman. Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. 2 vols. London, Macmillan: 1905. 2nd ed. 1912.

    Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.


    Last modified 3 January 2016