Alexander Munro (Inverness 1825 – Cannes 1871)
Undine, the water nymph has a sad story. She fell in love with a human and accidently drowned him.
Marble sculpture, Undine by Alexander Munro (Inverness 1825 – Cannes 1871), circa 1869. The water nymph, Undine, from Freidrich de al Motte Fouqué' s fairy romance (1811) who accidentally drowned her errant husband the knight Huldebrand with an embrace, was the subject of several 19th-century romances. The figure, which can be rotated on its stand, shows Munro’s virtuosity of technique and balance: the front foot barely touches the lilies. Munro was the son of a dyer in Inverness, but received encouragement as a sculptor from his headmaster and then from Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, for whom he worked at Dunrobin and Cliveden (NT).He was taught by E.H. Baily, and became a close associate of the Pre-Raphaelites, carving both ideal works and portrait busts. Examples of both are at Wallington (NT). The spirit is dancing through bull rushes with the wind blowing her hair and draperies; the marble is mounted on a circular green marble base, mounted on ball-bearings, enabling it to be turned around; the statue is a replica by Munro of one he did for Sir Henry Acland.
Armstrong collection. Transferred by the Treasury to The National Trust in 1977 via the National Land Fund, aided by 3rd Baron Armstrong of Bamburgh and Cragside (1919 - 1987).
Makers and roles
Alexander Munro (Inverness 1825 – Cannes 1871), sculptor
Pre-Raphaelite Sculpture Nature and Imagination in British Sculpture 1848 - 1914 (eds. Benedict Read and Joanna Barnes), The Matthiesen Gallery, London, 31 October - 12 December 1991, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 15 January - 15 March 1992, pl. 5