David Le Marchand

Sir Christopher Wren


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In Tate Britain
David Le Marchand 1674–1726
Ivory medalion
Object: 127 x 92 mm
National Portrait Gallery, London
On short term loan

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Christopher Wren (1632–1723) was one of the most important architects in British history, his masterpiece being St Paul’s Cathedral in London, built 1675–1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London (1666). Wren was one of several important contemporaries whose image was carved in ivory by Le Marchand. As a Huguenot (French Protestant) Le Marchand faced religious persecution and was forced to flee his native Dieppe, settling in Edinburgh in 1696 before moving to London in 1705. Small-scale sculptural portraits such as medals and ivories are an often overlooked but significant form of 18th-century portraiture.

Gallery label, February 2016

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