Copper Panel, depicting the Constellations of Perseus, Andromeda and Orion, 1890s
Height: 28.8 cm framed, Width: 39.9 cm framed, Depth: 2 cm framed
British Galleries, room 125c
Made by Margaret M. Giles
In 1896 the National Art Training School became The Royal College of Art. Margaret Giles, a student there, made these panels for an Exhibition held in Earls Court in 1900. It was described by the Secretary to the Board of Education at South Kensington, Thomas Armstrong, as having 'a good quality of relief'. The three figures represent the constellations: Perseus, Andromeda and Orion. [27/03/2003]
These three panels mounted in a contemporary, mahogany frame were executed as exhibition pieces for the Woman's Exhibition held at Earls Court in 1900. One of the jurors commented that the plaques were possibly suitable for the adornment of a coffin but that 'they are very badly displayed at present. They would look much better if they were sunk in a piece of dark marble of small 'figure' and not too highly polished.'
The subjects are the three figures from Greek mythology, Perseus, Andromeda and Orion, after which three constellations are named. Perseus is depicted with a sickle in one hand and the head of Medusa in the other, Andromeda stands chained with her hands before her and Orion holds a spear and has a sword hanging from his belt.
These panels are the work of Margaret Jenkin who before her marriage, as Margaret Giles, was recognised as one of the most able students in the modelling class at the Royal College of Art.