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Model for the monument to Penelope, daughter of Sir Brooke Boothby in Ashbourne Church, Derbyshire

Plaster

Museum number: M44

Curatorial note

Original plaster model for the figure of Penelope Boothby on her marble monument in Ashbourne church in Derbyshire. She died in 1791 aged six and when, two years later, this model was exhibited at Somerset House it was greatly admired. Queen Charlotte and her daughters were among those who were moved to tears by this simple figure, drenched with sentimentality’ as an eminent authority later put it, the child ‘not dead but sleeping’, in which ‘the theme of Innocence is exploited to the full’. If anything the plaster in Sir John Soane's Museum is even more touching than the marble figure on the finished monument. The model was presented to Soane by the sculptor’s daughter, Mrs Lavinia Forster in 1830. She wrote to a friend on 13 April that ‘in a few days the Model of the Child of sir B[rook] Boothby will be in the gallery of Soane’.

Exhibition history

Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780-1836, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 17 October 2001 - 20 January 2002
Thomas Banks 1735-1805: Britain's First Modern Sculptor, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 21 January - 9 April 2005

Associated objects

M44.A, stand


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk