National Treasure #122: Walter Allward

“Everybody said that I would never make a living at sculpture in Canada. But I’ve never listened a great deal to everybody, so I just went on drawing and modelling. I taught myself everything I know.” – Allward quoted on National Gallery site

Known as “Allward of Vimy,” Walter Allward was a Canadian sculptor who apprenticed with an architectural company and then worked at the Don Valley Brick Works.  He went on to create many monumental sculptures, including the Canadian Battlefield Memorial at Vimy, which is a monument to the Battle of Vimy Ridge and to the 11,000 Canadians listed as missing in action during WWI. 

Vimy is one of the rare important military monuments that does not exult in victory; it is there only to honour the memory of the victims of a conflict in which the death toll had been appallingly high and which it was hoped at the time would be the war to end all wars. – Department of National Defence publication

Read more about the design and construction of the Vimy memorial here.

You can see Allward’s work in Ottawa.  He made two bronze statues – Truth and Justice –  for a memorial for King Edward VII, but the start of the First World War prevented the memorial from being completed. The bronzes were found in 1969 in a crate buried under a parking lot, and placed at the entrance of the Supreme Court of Canada.  Apparently Allward used a figure just like Justice in the Vimy Memorial.

Full-figure shots of bronze statues in front of Supreme Court of Canada

Veritas and Iustitia (Truth and Justice) flank the entrance stairs.

 

Close-up of bronze statue, Truth, in front of Supreme Court of Canada

Truth

 

Close-up of bronze statue of Justice, in front of Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice

 


Thanks to Marilyn Smith for suggesting Allward of Vimy for this series.

 

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