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The Rev. Archibald Alison (1757-1839): M.4-1974

Object information


The Rev. Archibald Alison (1757-1839)


Joseph, Samuel (Sculptor)


White marble. Signed on the back 'S. JOSEPH Sculp/1825.'


History note: Sir Archibald Allison; his widow Lady Allison, Budleigh Salterton; from whom purchased by Biggs of Maidenhead (F.R. & M.H. Stamp), Hare Hatch Grange, Near Twyford, Berkshire, before 1971 when advertised by the firm in the January issue of Apollo. Cyril Humphris, 23 Old Bond Street, London; from whom purchased by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam.

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam

Measurements and weight

Height: 74.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1974-07-25) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


Early 19th Century
Production date: AD 1825


Samuel Joseph was a pupil of the eminent London-based portrait sculptor, Peter Rouw II (1771–1852). Joseph went to Edinburgh in 1823, and in 1826 was a founder member of the Scottish Royal Academy. He returned to London in 1828 where he remained for the rest of his life. His best-known work is the monument to William Wilberforce erected in Westminster Abbey in 1838; a plaster copy of this exists in St John’s College, Cambridge.

This portrait bust shows the Reverend Archibald Alison at the age of 68. Educated at Glasgow University and Balliol College Oxford, Alison became a priest in 1784, and was responsible for several parishes in England before returning to Edinburgh in 1800 to be minister of the Episcopal Chapel in the Cowgate. He is remembered chiefly for his influential 'Essay on the Nature and Principles of Taste' (1791; second edition 1811).

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

White marble

Techniques used in production

Carving : White marble, carved

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: S.JOSEPH Sculp/1825.
  • Location: On back of the support
  • Method of creation: Chiselled
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.4-1974
Primary reference Number: 31041
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_4_1974
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 4 June 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "The Rev. Archibald Alison (1757-1839)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-21 00:56:52

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=|title=The Rev. Archibald Alison (1757-1839)|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-21 00:56:52|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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