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Key facts
Full title Trophy
Artist Probably by Edward Hodges Baily
Artist dates 1788 - 1867
Group West Entrance Sculptures
Date made 1826-32
Medium and support Portland stone
Acquisition credit Commissioned by the Office of Works for the Marble Arch, and installed on the Gallery by 1838
Inventory number H210
Location Gallery Exterior: West Entrance
Collection History Collection
Trophy
Probably by Edward Hodges Baily
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This female figure, along with its pair, accompanies a figure of Victory on the façade above the National Gallery’s West Entrance. They, and five related sculptures depicting female figures, are the work of the British neoclassical sculptor Edward Hodges Baily. This pair of women do not carry any attributes, so it is hard to identify who they are.

The National Gallery was established in 1824, occupying two sites on Pall Mall before it was opened to the public in its present location on Trafalgar Square by Queen Victoria on 9 April 1838. During the construction of the Trafalgar Square building, its architect, William Wilkins, was forced to use masonry and statuary recycled from other projects in a cost-cutting exercise imposed by the government. This pair of female figures, and a winged pair now holding paintbrushes and palettes, which all now adorn the Gallery’s façade, were originally commissioned by George IV either for Marble Arch or Buckingham Palace.

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West Entrance Sculptures

The National Gallery’s West Entrance is surmounted with a figure of Victory, framed by another full-length, draped female figure in each of the niches to left and right. As this pair of flanking figures do not carry any attributes, it is hard to identify who they represent. All three statues are the work of the British neoclassical sculptor Edward Hodges Baily. They were not made for the National Gallery, but were commissioned by King George IV for other structural projects in central London - in the case of the Victory figure, for the Marble Arch, a monument intended to celebrate Britain’s defeat of the French in the Napoleonic Wars.