Built around 1863 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, model of the Albert Memorial still remains to be an authentic emblem of neo-Gothic architecture till date. The plastered and gilt model neatly wears a polished gander testifying to the facsimile of the original Memorial tower located in Kensington Gardens in the English capital.2 The model was commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate Prince Albert, her beloved husband who passed away in 1861.
This essay is going to discuss the key points related to the model of Albert Memorial and not the Memorial itself. These points will pertain to the designing and production of the object as well as the technical aspects of the neo-Gothic style of architecture. The literature studies will involve exhaustive analysis of relevant sources, including images, critiques, historical accounts and other informative data.
The model of Albert Memorial depicts a seated figure of Prince Albert shielded by a covering which is adorned with symbolic figures of angels. It is topped by a cross and positioned on a platform having ornamented horizontal bands between the architrave and the cornice. Figures of poets, painters, architects and authors are carved on the friezes
with moulded plaster. ...
It was orchestrated by the fact that middle class segment of the society gained ascendance following steady decline of the aristocratic upper class. The Industrial Revolution that shook the whole of Europe during this time also opened up new job avenues for the skilled craftsmen. Subsequently, both the elite class and the growing middle class could share a common point of interest ahead of the revivalistic phase during Queen Victoria's regime. In essence, the Industrial Revolution captured the spirit of the Aesthetic movement in the British society.4 Veblen (2004: 194) argues that the flurry of products conforming to the genre of industry arts was not caused by some arbitrary movement in aesthetic competence. Rather it was very much an acquired skill mastered through proper grooming of the workers within a systematic framework.5 Thus it would be justified to claim that the deployment of skilled workforce by Queen Victoria for the task of building the Albert Memorial model corresponded to the norms of the transition from the Elizabethan to the Victorian era.
Figure 2. Red House, Kent: Aesthetic Movement (Strickland and Handy 2001: 101)
Mainly cast plaster is used to build the model, with a metallic framework to provide support. As far as decoration is concerned, an array of architectural techniques is incorporated to make it look like the original Memorial. The triangular gables beneath the covering are affixed with gilded and pied paper works representing mosaic. Granite effect is created through a scagliola-like decoration vested in the column shafts, the model floor, bases of the four corners, and the steps. The sculptured band around the base and other portions of the model are painted with a thick layer of