Justice as a child of the poor, led by Understanding into the way of Wisdom. Joy following, strewing her path with flowers. Thomas Stirling Lee (1857-1916). 1882-1901. Istrian stone. St. George's Hall, Liverpool. The two adult women are Understanding and Wisdom, the latter wearing a crown of olives, while the older girl, Joy, has a crown of rosebuds and a filmy dress. Notice Wisdom's lamp, a guiding light. The nudity of the child figure provoked a storm of protest.

Lee was originally commissioned to design 28 panels around the base of the hall, but less than half were completed, and not all” by Lee himself. Problems started with this first panel, one of a projected series of six showing "The Attributes and Results of Justice": it caused a furore, because "the child Justice" was nude — as was "the girl Justice" in the next panel (see Cavanagh 260-61). Lee was eventually allowed to continue that series, which is to the left of the central portico, and also designed two in a different series to the right of the portico, of which this representation of shipwrights is an example.

The remainder of the Progress of Justice series on Saint George's Hall

Photographs by Robert Freidus. text by Freidus and Jacqueline Banerjee. Perspective correction, formatting, and linking by George P. Landow. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Cavanagh, Terry. The Public Sculpture of Liverpool. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1996.

Last modified 1 November 2015