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The Character Statues


Found on the upper tier of the South East buttress of the Scott Monument.

Saladin (from the novel 'The Talisman', 1825), is represented wearing a turban with a central point, loose fitting clothes and cummerbund around his waist. He has baggy trousers and a curved sword typical of a Middle-Eastern soldier.

When first introduced in the novel, the Saracen leader Saladin (1137 to 1193) is in disguise as Sheerkohf or Emir Ilderim of Kurdistan. Scott describes him as "in the very flower of his age, and might perhaps have been termed eminently beautiful, but for the narrowness of his forehead and something of too much thinness and sharpness of feature…"

"His limbs, where exposed to view, seemed divested of all that was fleshy or cumbersome; so that nothing being left but bone, brawn and sinew, it was a frame fitted for exertion and fatigue, far beyond that of a bulky champion…"

He befriends Kenneth, a Scottish knight, and cures Richard Coeur de Lion with the amulet or talisman of the novel's title. "A generous and valiant enemy", Saladin is portrayed as both wiser and cleverer than his Crusader opponents.

About the Sculptor

Clark Stanton (1832 to 1894)

George Clark Stanton was born in Birmingham in 1832 and died in Edinburgh on the 8th January 1894. He was educated at King Edward’s Grammar School and Birmingham School of Art, where he studied silversmithing. He was also a painter of portraits, portrait miniatures and rustic subjects, often on a romantic, literary and historical theme.

“His heroines wore richly coloured dresses and his backgrounds are finely detailed, yet his pictures carry great conviction and never appear like theatrical charades”.

While working for Elkington and Mason he was sent to Florence to study Renaissance sculpture and metalwork. In 1855 he settled in Edinburgh and lived at 1 Ramsay Lane, but sold very few artworks during his life and was continuously in debt. He was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in 1862 and RSA (Royal Scottish Academy) in 1885.

Other works include bronze panels on the Buccleuch Memorial on the Royal Mile and statues of ‘Army and Navy’ on the Albert Memorial in Charlotte Square.

Other figures on the Scott Monument are Friar Tuck, Rebecca, and Sir Piercie Shafton.

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