Study for The Cenotaph
- Catalogue number
- Art.IWM ART 16377 3
- Art and Popular Design
- Display status
- IWM London
- Production date
- Subject period
- Support: paper
- medium: Pencil
- medium: ink
- Support: Height 127 mm, Width 94 mm
- Frame: Depth 35 mm, Height 496 mm, Width 400 mm
- Backing: Height 170 mm, Width 135 mm
- Alternative names
- object category: drawing
- Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1990
© Photo IWM (Art.IWM ART 16377 3)Purchase & License
image: A sketch of the proposed design for the cenotaph with explanatory notes. text: The catafalky (sic) as it will appear in Whitehall if Lord Curzon finally agrees to it. Sir T Baines of the office of works asked McNed to design it for them, as they were quite at a loss to know what to do. [July 1919, inscription written by Lady Sackville, with arrows indicating flag, wreath, flags, soldier, soldier with reversed arms.] image verso: The drawing of a Chicken. text verso: La poule intrigeant et Bux homme
Lutyens was first approached informally by Sir Alfred Mond, First Commissioner of Works in Lloyd George’s government in June 1919, to design a monument to mark the signing of the Peace Treaty. Following discussions with Clemenceau and the Peace Celebrations Committee, Lloyd George met Lutyens in early July 1919 and asked him to design a catafalque for Whitehall, to be part of the Peace Day events on 19th July. Lutyens’ alternative suggestion of a cenotaph was agreed. Later that day Lutyens presented drawings to Sir Frank Baines, based on his previous design for Mond. These sketches were drawn over dinner with Lady Sackville in the evening, and annotated by her. The final design was based on measurements of the Parthenon. In the classical manner, all the surfaces were subtly curved; the verticals would meet at a point 1000 feet above the ground and the horizontals, 900 feet to the side. Stripped of all literal elements (at Lutyens' insistence four soldiers at the base were not included), the simplicity and dignity of the monument became the immediate focus for national grief. The wood and plaster structure was unveiled on 18th July and was originally intended to stand for a week. Its extraordinary popularity extended this to January 1920 when the weather finally forced its removal. In the meantime a slightly revised design was accepted by the Cabinet for a permanent memorial, again sited in Whitehall and unveiled on Armistice Day, 1920. The Cenotaph remains the central focus of remembrance.
July 1919, inscription written by Lady Sackville, with arrows indicating flag, wreath, flags, soldier, soldier with reversed arms. The catafalky (sic) as it will appear in Whitehall if Lord Curzon finally agrees to it. Sir T Baines of the office of works asked McNed to design it for them, as they were quite at a loss to know what to do.
La poule intrigeant et Bux homme
Associated people and organisations
All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.