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The Art of War: The St. Paul's Sculptural Pantheon


The Art of War considers in detail the critically-neglected and often-derided sculptural pantheon of St. Paul’s, from the arrival of the first monuments there, by John Bacon Senior in 1795, to the outbreak of the second world war.

After a thematic first session, considering the broader question of pantheons, tombs, and monuments, and the limited specific scholarship on the St. Paul’s pantheon itself, the course proceeds chronologically through the major commemorative projects of the long nineteenth century. These will include the Napoleonic Wars and memorials to East India Company men, the Sepoy Mutiny and Crimean War, the Wellington monument, and the memorials to the victims of the Boer and First World Wars.

Because there is remarkable little secondary literature upon almost all of the extant monuments, the course will be self-consciously object, rather than text focussed, and will proceed through a series of unusually close readings of the memorials themselves.


By the end of the module, students should have acquired:

  • A detailed knowledge of the St. Paul’s sculptural pantheon
  • An ability to analyse long-nineteenth-century monuments in unusual detail
  • An ability to engage in detail with the limited extant historiography


Possible seminar outline:

  • Monuments, Pantheons, Tombs
  • The Napoleonic Wars
  • The East India Company
  • The Sepoy Mutiny
  • The Crimean War
  • The Wellington Monument
  • The Boer War
  • The First World War


Preliminary reading:

  • Boulder, Roger & Ann Saunders, ‘The Post-Reformation Monuments’ in Derek Keene et al, eds., St Paul’s: The Cathedral Church of London, 604-204 (2004), 269-292.
  • Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging the Nation: 1707-1837 (1992).
  • Coutu, Joan Persuasion & Propaganda: Monuments from the C18th British Empire (2006).
  • Craske, Matthew & Richard Wrigley, eds, Pantheons: Transformations of a Monumental Idea (2004).
  • Ferguson, Niall. Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World (2003).
  • Groseclose, Barbara. British Sculpture and the Company Raj (1995).
  • Mackenzie, John M. Orientalism: History, Theory and the Arts (1995).
  • Panofsky, Erwin W. Tomb Sculpture (1964).
  • Penny, Nicholas. Church Monuments in Romantic England (1977).
  • Physick, John. The Wellington Memorial (1970).
  • Yarrington, Alison The Commemoration of the Hero 1800-1864: Monuments to the British Victors of the Napoleonic Wars (1988).

Sir William Jones by John Bacon

Module information

  • Module title
    The Art of War: The St. Paul's Sculptural Pantheon
  • Module number
  • Convenor
    Jason Edwards

For postgraduates