Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Engraving Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1946. London: Published under the Authority of the Ministry of Education, 1949.
The full text of the entry is as follows:
"RYSBRACK, John Michael (1693-1770)
Design for the memorial in Great Witley Church, Worcestershire, to Thomas Lord Foley (d. 1733), his wife Mary (Strode), and their children, Talbot, Edward, Richard and Anne.
Pen and ink and wash. 1011/16 X 61/8 E.430-1946."
Design for a memorial by John Rysbrack in Great Witley Church, to Thomas Lord Foley (d.1733) and his wife Mary (Strode), and their children Talbot, Edward, Richard and Anne. Worcestershire, England, ca.1733.
Height: 39 cm paper, Width: 27.5 cm
British Galleries, room 54c
This design bears some resemblance to the memorial to the second and third Dukes of Beaufort in Badminton Church, Gloucestershire.
E.431, E.433, E.435, E.437, E.439, E.444, E.452 and E.453 are from the collection of Nathaniel Hone (1718-1784).
Noblemen in the 18th century liked to think of themselves as the modern equivalents of ancient Greeks and Romans. Their classical Palladian houses reflected this, as did the monuments to their memory. In this design, Lord Foley (died 1733) and his family are dressed like Romans, in front of a large obelisk. [27/03/2003]
Design for a memorial in Great Witley Church, to Thomas Lord Foley (d.1733) and his wife Mary (Strode), and their children, showing seven figures in total, reclining, leaning or standing around a plinth on three levels.
Drawings for sculpture were either for the artist's own use, or for presentation to a client to obtain a commission or show what the completed work would look like. This drawing has a clear outline, which suggests that it was made when the creative thinking was over and the design was ready to be shown to the client. However, it is not as finished as some of Rysbrack's other designs for monuments. For example, he does not attempt to imitate marble in the thin, even layer of watercolour (known as wash) over the triangular section behind the figures.
Thomas Foley was a Member of Parliament for Stafford for 18 years until he was raised to the peerage in 1712. He was one of 12 Tory peers created at this date.
Design & Designing
This design is not the same as the monument, itself, which is in St Michael's Church, Great Witley, Worcestershire. In the actual monument, the figures of the mother and child are on the same level as the reclining Lord Foley. The central, standing figure in the top row of the design is replaced by an urn. The engraver and diarist George Vertue (1684-1756) praised Rysbrack's monuments (and in doing so mentioned the one to Lord Foley), stating that they were 'standing Monuments to his Fame'.