Henry Hugh Armstead

Remorse

1903

Artist
Henry Hugh Armstead 1828–1905
Medium
Marble
Dimensions
Object: 1029 x 889 x 489 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1903
Reference
N01929

Not on display

Display caption

This unusual sculpture shows a famous scene from Shakespeare: Lady Macbeth walking in her sleep, driven by guilt for the murder of Duncan, king of Scotland. She descends from a turret in the castle, rubbing her hands and muttering to herself, 'What, will these hands ne'er be clean?' The base of the sculpture is covered with moralising imagery: the three heads may be those of Macbeth and his victims Duncan and Banquo, while the crown with daggers suggests power gained by murder. The serpents on the side of the base symbolise temptation. Armstead was a popular monument maker in Victorian London and a sculptor for the Albert Memorial.

Gallery label, August 2004