After a long selection process, the little-known sculptor Alfred Stevens was awarded the commission to produce a monument to the Duke of Wellington. He had already produced a reduced version of his intended monument as his competition model in 1857. This model is also in the Museum's collections (Museum no. 44-1878). This group and its companion depicting Valour and Cowardice (Museum no. 321B-1878) are full-size models for the bronze groups featured on the Wellington monument in St Paul's Cathedral. They were not completed by Stevens until 1866.
In this work Truth tears out the double tongue of Falsehood and pushes aside the mask concealing his grotesque features. His serpent-tails are exposed beneath the drapery. The entire monument comprised a triumphal arch with the bier and recumbent effigy of Wellington. The colossal figures of Truth and Falsehood and Valour and Cowardice were placed at either side. The monument was not completed until 1912, almost 40 years after the death of the sculptor.
Sculpture, Room 22, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, case FS
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Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London