Sir Frances Chantrey (1781-1841)
Lord Castlereagh was Foreign Secretary from 1812 to 1822 in Lord Liverpool’s government. He was one of the chief architects of the Treaty of Vienna which brought Europe together after the fall of Napoleon.
He had made his mark in Pitt’s government, overseeing the Act of Union which dismantled the Irish Parliament in 1801. He became increasingly unpopular, especially after the Peterloo Massacre and he took his own life in 1822.
This sculpture is a copy of the one now in the collections of the National Trust for Northern Ireland and on display at Mount Stewart. The Apsley House variant is dated 1822.
Sir Frances Chantrey came from a village near Sheffield in the north of England and was apprenticed to a wood carver and gilder called Ramsay. Through Ramsay he met John Raphael Smith, an artist, who recognised his skill and artistic potential. Chantrey eventually studied stone carving and oil painting at the Royal Academy.
He was recognised as one of the greatest sculptors of his day and was knighted by William IV in 1835. He died suddenly in 1842, leaving a fortune, most of which went to the Royal Academy.