Franklin Monument

Base. The Franklin Expedition Monument (1866), London, by Matthew Noble. Bronze. Photograph by George P. Landow, July 2005. [This image may be used without prior permission for any educational or scholarly purpose.]

Three-dimensional figure representations were fine for allegories, but for more specific, narrative reference, reliefs had no rival. Noble's Franklin, in Waterloo Place, London, who is portrayed in the act of telling his crew the object of their voyage, the North-West Passage, is discovered, has two reliefs: one representing the deceased explorer's body being committed to the ice, the other on the back representing a chart of the Arctic regions, showing the position of the ships at the time of their commander's death. This is not normally visible, being now behind railings. — Read, p. 149.

The Franklin monument faces that for another tragic English polar expedition — the death of Robert Falcon Scott and his four companions on their return from the South Pole (1912) [GPL]

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Last modified 20 November 2010