"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Francis Scott Key

This 1911 statue of Francis Scott Key by Marius Jean Antonin Mercie is part of the Francis Scott Key Monument that stands on Bolton Hill in the middle of  Eutaw Street at West Lanvale in Baltimore, Maryland.
 "The monument depicts Francis Scott Key returning from the British ship on which he had been detained during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and offering an allegorical figure of Columbia his poem, the Star Spangled Banner, destined to become the National anthem. At the base of the monument, in a large circular basin, a bronze figure of Francis Scott Key stands in the stern of a stone rowboat, his long overcoat draped over his proper left shoulder and his proper right hand raised. The stone rowboat rides the crest of a stone wave and seated in the bow is a bronze figure of a barefoot sailor manning the oars. Both Key and the sailor look up toward the top of the monument where there is a standing bronze female figure representing Columbia. She strides forward holding up the American flag on her proper left side. Beneath the figure of Columbia is a square pavilion with four Doric Columns. At the base of the columns is a small bowl resting on a low pedestal. Below the bowl is a square base that is adorned with two bronze reliefs. One relief depicts the bombardment of Fort McHenry and the other relief depicts the guns and ramparts of Fort McHenry." -- SIRIS
"In 1907, Charles L. Marburg gave $25,000 to his brother, Theodore, to commission a monument honoring his favorite poet, Francis Scott Key. The monument illustrates the circumstances under which the Star Spangled Banner was written. Key had gone on board a British ship in the Baltimore harbor the day before the attack on Fort McHenry. He was a lawyer and was acting on behalf of a client, but when he was ready to leave, the British decided it was too risky to allow him to leave because he might have overheard them planning their attack. Thus he witnessed the bombing of Fort McHenry from out in the Baltimore harbor on board a British ship. The Francis Scott Key Monument is a reenactment of Key's return to shore after spending the night out in the harbor during which time he wrote the poem that became the national anthem.

Originally, the bronze figure of Columbia and the bronze reliefs on the base were gilded. At the dedication, the monument was unveiled by Francis Scott Key's granddaughter. The less than prominent site for the installation of the monument has been controversial." -- SIRIS
Francis Scott Key

These gilt panels depicting the battle from two points of view, from Fort McHenry and from the  bombarding British Fleet, are signed CM, 1910.

Fort McHenry
The Defenders

Bombardment by the British Fleet

Seen in Detail this panel shows Key on the deck of the British warship and the Star Spangled Banner flying over Fort McHenry.

Francis Scott Key

The Star Spangled Banner

Like the statue of Cecil Calvert the rumor is that this statue was posed for by silent film star Francis X. Bushman.

Francis X. Bushman (Internet Archive)

The monument sits in front of the Eutaw Place Temple.

"Eutaw Place Temple is a large, eclectically-styled former synagogue on Eutaw Place in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. The temple was constructed to serve the German Jewish immigrant community. Originally built as a synagogue for the Temple Oheb Shalom congregation, the property was sold to the Prince Hall Masons in 1960. It was built in 1892 as the second home of the Oheb Shalom congregation, and borrows design elements from the Great Synagogue of Florence. The architect was Joseph Evans Sperry of Baltimore." -- Wikipedia

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