Ivor Roberts-Jones (1913-96)
This bronze sculpture was cast from a reduced-scale maquette produced simultaneously with the Parliament Square sculpture...
Ivor Roberts-Jones’s monumental bronze sculpture of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is arguably one of the most iconic pieces of British commemorative public sculpture ever commissioned.
This bronze sculpture was cast from a reduced-scale maquette produced simultaneously with the Parliament Square sculpture between 1971 and 1973. It was always the intention of Roberts-Jones to cast a limited edition of these smaller bronzes for dispersal, and in 1976 he instructed the Library of Imperial History, London, to offer their original subscribers to Churchill’s Collected Works the chance also to acquire an example of the bronze. The first 100 castings from the edition were retained by Roberts-Jones for his clients, and the Library of Imperial History were only allowed to offer the remainder for sale over a short period of time. This bronze is numbered 111 from the edition of 500 and is accompanied by the original certificate of authenticity signed by both Roberts-Jones and John Crofton, master founder of Meridian Foundry where the edition was cast. The design of the stone base, with the distinctive carved font, is directly taken from the sculpture’s 9ft plinth in Parliament Square.
It was decided in 1967 that a commemorative sculpture of Churchill should be erected in a public space and it was quickly decided that the north-east corner of Parliament Square was the most appropriate area. This particular location was actually suggested by Churchill himself, who for a number of years had jovially guarded the spot in anticipation that this was where a statue of him should be placed.Initially, it appeared the commission would be awarded to Oscar Nemon (1906-85), who had recently completed a sculpture for the Members’ Lobby of the Commons, however due to that work’s mixed reception it was decided that eight sculptors would be invited to compete for the commission instead.Roberts-Jones’s and Nemon’s maquettes were shortlisted, although they were both asked to make some adjustments and re-submit their designs. The committee in charge of the commission unanimously decided on Roberts-Jones’s amended design, and although there were a few who still preferred the Nemon proposal, they were soon swayed, and in March 1971 he was officially awarded the commission.
 The Times, (London, 1 June 1968), p.9. Published correspondence between Churchill and Lord Eccles.
 See J. Black, ‘Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture’ in Abstraction and Reality: The Sculpture of Ivor Roberts-Jones (London, 2013), no.135, pp.244-8