Friday, 1 May 2020

Leonard Jennings OBE, a popular colonial British sculptor who commissioned many statues and memorials in India

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city Monument, teen murthy Bhavan, Delhi sculptor jennings. thedelhiwalla.com
city Monument, Delhi sculptor jennings. timesofindia.indiatimes.com 
Leonard Jennings (1877-1956), OBE, who  designed and  painstakingly sculpted the Statue of King Edward VII in the Queens park, close to Cubbon Park, at Bangalore, Karnataka state was  a native of Acton, London. Driven by keen interest in stone sculpturing and art work,  he  studied art at the Lambeth School of Art, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Academy of Arts. Jennings was an assistant to Francis Derwent Wood.  Upon his apprenticeship and basic training,  Jennings  moved over to India  to pursue his profession. He took up a job with the  Government of India and also taught at the Calcutta School of Art from 1907-9
Bangalore, statue of Edward VII   en.wikipedia.org
Prince Edward www.npg.org.u
Above image: Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (king Edward) 
bronze statuette, 1991, based on a work of 1930s ....................
Most of Jennings's public commissions of statues etc were in India and each one is a master piece revealing his ingenious handling of the tools in shaping the sculptures. It needs intense concentration, patience and the ability to chisel out the best out of a piece of rock. His major works  include 01. The statue of King Edward VII at Bangalore, 02. Thackeray Memorial at Calcutta, 03. The Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade Memorial at Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi, 04.  Statue of the Prince of Wales (later the Duke of Windsor) commissioned by the Aga Khan at Bombay, 05. Marble bust of Nawab Abdul Latif, C.I.E (1913–14) at Calcutta University Senate House, which was unveiled by Lord Carmichael (Governor of Bengal, British India) at a ceremony at the same university  on 5 July 1915; and  06.  A 10 ft statue of George V in coronation robes, at
1911 Delhi durbar. statue of George V in coronation robes  trip advisor. 
Patna (exhibited at the RA in 1939). He was active in his profession  between 1902 - 1950.  Jennings commissioned some projects in Britain -  some memorials such as a plaque to Dr. M.Y. Young, which was unveiled at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington in 1952 (source: Fleming Papers held at the British Library Manuscripts collection, add. 56128). Jennings's other works  included meticulous portrait sculptures that were known for their subtlety of expression and close likeness. To his credit he got into a different  style and created amazing  equestrian statues. It shows his familiarity with horses and his riding skill just for pleasure. He died on  5 October 1956 in Ipswich and East Suffolk General Hospital, London.
www.alamy.com/
Above image: Portrait of Leonard Jennings (1877-1956) British teacher (in Calcutta) and sculptor, one time sculptor to the Government of India. Here,  he is seen working on his 16 foot high statue of King George V of Britain. During the war, he enlisted in the Surrey Yeomanry and was commissioned in 1915 into the Northumber land Hussars. From 1916-19 Jennings served in France and Flanders and  was mentioned twice in dispatches and then joined the staff of Lord Rawlinson. Upon demobilization, he became a reserve officer  with the rank of captain. Again in WWII in 1939,  Jennings rejoined the army serving on a staff appointment in the UK. According to his obituary in 'The Times', his war service left a permanent mark in the form of a preference for order and efficiency.
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Contributor: Colin Waters / Alamy Stock Photo
https://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib2_1204578302was