Sculptor Edgar Bertram Mackennal; founder A.B. Burton
Bronze statue with basalt and granite pedestal
Queen Victoria Gardens
Sculptor Edgar Bertram Mackennal was much in demand in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His commissions include Melbourne's statue of Sir William Clarke and the medal for the London Olympics. He was knighted in 1921, and elected to the Royal Academy in 1922.
Mackennal's statue of Edward VII depicts a heroic king in the full dress uniform of a British field marshal. The eldest son of Queen Victoria, Edward was rebellious into his adulthood and the Queen showed her displeasure by denying him any governmental position. Despite his lack of experience, Edward successfully negotiated England's conciliation with France, earning him the title of 'the peacemaker', and his social reforms made him popular among his subjects.
The desire to create a monument to Edward in Melbourne took hold immediately following his death in 1910. Mackennal was commissioned to undertake the work on a tender of £1867, but the statue eventually cost three times that price. The outbreak of World War I delayed the statue's production, but casting in London commenced at the war's end. It was unveiled in 1920.