Manual Ref* SUbaSu001 Show 6 images 616


County Suffolk   District Council Babergh 
Civil Parish or equivalent Sudbury  Town/Village* Sudbury 
Road Market Hill 
Precise Location At the top end of the Market Hill, in front of the main west entrance into St. Peter's Church. 
OS Grid Ref TL874413  Postcode CO10 
Previous location(s)  
Setting At the top of the Market Hill, over looking the market. Looking towards Gainsborough's House.  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Sir Bertram Mackennal  Sculptor(s)   

Commissioned by

Public subscription; local committee 19 July 1907, national committee May 1909, under patronage of Princess Louise (Duchess of Argyle), chaired by the Marquis of Bristol 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing


Exact date of unveiling



Abstract Animal Architectural
Commercial Commemorative Composite
Free Functional Funerary
Heraldic Military Natural
Non-Commemorative Performance Portable
Religious Roadside, Wayside Sculptural
Temporary, Mobile Other  

Object Type

Building Clock Tower Architectural
Coat of Arms Cross Fountain
Landscape Marker Medallion
Mural Panel Readymade
Relief Shaft Sculpture
Statue Street Furniture War Memorial
Other Object Sub Type: Statue

Subject Type

Allegorical Mythological Pictorial
Figurative Non-figurative Portrait
Still-life Symbolic Other

Subject Sub Type

Bust Equestrian Full-length
Group Head Reclining
Seated Standing Torso
Part Material Dimension
Statue  Bronze  H: 280cm x W: 80cm x D: 80cm 
Pedestal  Portman Stone  H: 300cm x W: 110cm x D: 140cm 
Relief (front)  Bronze  H: 104cm x W: 73cm x D: 3cm 
Relief (rear)  Bronze  H: 104cm x W: 73cm x D: 6cm 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


Sudbury Town Council 

Listing status

Grade I Grade II* Grade II Don't Know Not Listed

Surface Condition

Corrosion, Deterioration Accretions
Bird Guano Abrasions, cracks, splits
Biological growth Spalling, crumbling
Metallic staining Previous treatments

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other
Detail: Small piece of portman stone replaced on the front of the pedestal.


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Inscriptions Gainsborough 1727 - 1788 

Description (physical)

Gainsborough, his hair tied back with a bow is shown in a long overcoat, open to reveal his waist coat and cravat, as he looks over the market square, towards Gainsborough House, pausing from painting and resting a brush on the palette. Mackennal’s statue presents an idealised, slightly younger, version of Gainsborough’s bust-length Self Portrait of 1787, (when he was sixty) presented to the Royal Academy by his daughter Margaret in 1808.  

Description (iconographical)

The commission began with an appeal by the Mayor of Sudbury in 1907, which two years later had become a national one which by June 1910 had, as reported in the Times, chosen Bertam Mackennal as sculptor. The committee had approved of his design, and the maquette was displayed at the Royal Academy in 1911, the statue the following year. The statue follows the maquette closely, but the base has been simplified and the seated lady is rendered as a bronze plaque, rather than a free-standing figure, which allowed the introduction of a landscape background. The statue presents an idealised, slightly younger, version of Gainsborough’s bust-length Self Portrait of 1787, (when he was sixty) presented to the Royal Academy by his daughter Margaret in 1808. The relief on the back showing a viola and mandolin together with paint brushes,demonstrates Gainsborough's love of music. The relief on the front, showing a woman sitting on a rock under a tree holding a violin, is Sir Bertram Mackennal's version of Gainsborough's Portrait of Mrs Sheridan, now in the Mellon collection in the Washington National Gallery, in 1913 in the collection of the Baron Lionel de Rothschild. She, however, like Gainsborough's other sitters does not hold a musical instrument. 


Date taken:  26/1/2008
Date logged:  27/3/2007

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  25/3/2007

Inspected by:
Paul White

Sources and References Gainsborough memorial and biography accessed 01/04/2010; Edwards, D., Bertram Mackennal : the fifth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project, Sydney : Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2007., 56 and 201 Diane Perkins, Gainsborough House Director, personal comment, (11/6/07); Waterhouse, E., Gainsborough, London, 1958 pl. 256 and Cat. 613 


Date entered:  11/6/2007

Data inputter:
Paul White and Richard Cocke