John Edward Carew - Biography
(1785-1868). Born at Tramore near Waterford. He is supposed to have studied in Dublin before coming to London in about 1809, where he was engaged as an assistant to Sir Richard Westmacott. He continued in Westmacott’s employ until 1822, when the Earl of Egremont persuaded him to accept an exclusive arrangement to work for him alone. Carew produced a series of very fine genre and mythological figures and groups for the Earl, which are still at Petworth House. However, on discovering at his patron’s death in 1837 that he had been left nothing in the will, he brought an action against the executors, which he lost. Carew produced vigorous, and still surprisingly baroque, devotional sculpture: a high relief of the Baptism of Christ (1835) for the Roman Catholic Church in Brighton, and another of the Assumption of the Virgin (1853) for the Royal Bavarian Chapel in London (now in the Chapel of the Assumption, Warwick Street). Recognition of Carew’s outstanding abilities was implied by his being given the commission to execute the colossal bronze relief of The Death of Nelson, for the plinth of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. His portrait statues include Edmund Kean as Hamlet (1833, marble, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London), and Henry Grattan (1857, marble, Palace of Westminster). His funerary monuments include the memorial to George IV’s mistress, Mrs Fitzherbert, in the Roman Catholic Church in Brighton, and the memorial with portrait statue of William Huskisson (1832), in Chichester Cathedral. Sources: W.G. Strickland, A Dictionary of Irish Artists, Dublin and London, 1913; R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660--1851, London, 1968.