Birmingham, Nelson Monument, Bronze Figure
This is the earliest memorial to the national hero, as well as being Westmacott's earliest public work and Birmingham's first public statue. At the unveiling on 5 October 1809, Westmacott's own description of the Bull Ring monument was distributed to the people who had gathered for the ceremony.
In this work, intended to perpetuate the greatest example of naval genius, simplicity has been the chief object in the arrangement. The hero is represented in a reposed and dignified attitude, his left arm reclining on an anchor. He appears in the costume of his native country, invested with the insignia of those honours by which his sovereign and distant princes distinguished him. To the right of the statue the grand symbol of the naval profession is introduced. Victory, the constant attendant upon her favourite hero, embellishes the prow. To the left is disposed a sail, which, being placed behind the statue, gives breadth to that view of the composition. Above the ship is a facsimile of the Flag Staff Truck of L'Orient, which was fished up by Sir Samuel Hood the day following the battle of the Nile, and presented by him to Lord Nelson, the same being deposited at Mitford as a trophy of that ever memorable action.
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