Gladstone statue unveiled

At Commemoration Day on July 3rd, Sir William Gladstone unveiled a sculpture of his great grandfather, the Victorian prime minister and 'Grand Old Man' of politics William Ewart Gladstone. The bronze statue, crafted by acclaimed artist Jemma Pearson, stands close to the chapel of Glenalmond College which Gladstone founded in 1847.

Gladstone statue unveiling

The sculpture was commissioned by Glenalmond College, and funded by the Glenalmond College Fellowship and the Gladstone Trust, to mark the bicentenary of Gladstone's birth. W E Gladstone entered politics in 1832 as a Tory, becoming more radical throughout a career that saw him serve as Liberal Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer four times.

During his 62 years as an MP he championed education, Parliamentary reform, home rule for Ireland and was known for his great energy, love of books and strong Christian beliefs.

Commenting on the sculpture, which was unveiled in a special ceremony as part of Commemoration Day celebrations, outstanding patron of visual contemporary arts in Scotland Richard Demarco, who was present at the event, said; "I am very impressed with this sculpture which has resulted from a labour of love and has come not before time. It has been made with consummate skill and profound understanding of Gladstone's life and work, and his belief in the raison d'etre of Glenalmond. I am delighted to know that when I think of Glenalmond from now on I can have in my mind the image of two major sculptures. One, a modern art masterpiece by a former pupil, George Rickey, within walking distance of another master work dedicated to the founder of the College."

The sculptor was inspired by Gladstone's visit to Glenalmond for the consecration of the chapel in 1851 and the pose has a sense of energy, looking out over the College's development. A great walker all his life, Gladstone is depicted in his early 40's, having walked from Luncarty station to the College, returning on foot to Perth, a round trip of 20 miles.

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