Ian Rank-Broadley is undoubtedly the most widely distributed artist in Britain. Everyone knows his work, even if his name is unfamiliar – and everyone can say they own a piece of his work. Rank-Broadley’s effigy of HM The Queen has appeared on all UK and most Commonwealth coins since 1998.
Rank-Broadley has also portrayed some of the most poignant and important elements of British history. Now, the sculptor will be unveiling his latest work, a statue of the D-Day hero Lord Lovat, at the site of Sword Beach, where Lovat made his historic landing on 6 June 1944.
The work will be unveiled on the 8th of May 2014. Privately commissioned by the Fraser family , and gifted to France, the event will be attended by the current Lord Lovat and family, members of the Fraser clan, the British military attache in Paris, representatives of the Army Commandos and the Royal Marine Commandos, with their standards.
The work will also be the backdrop to the commemorations on the 6th of June where HM The Queen and President Obama will view the commemorative celebrations from their vantage point adjacent to the Lovat statue.
Lord Lovat’s (Brigadier Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat and 4th Baron Lovat, DSO, MC, TD ) brigade was landed at Sword Beach during the Normandy invasion.
It’s been said of Lord Lovat “Under him, men did more than they could possibly imagine they could do, were braver than they knew themselves to be.” (Obit, Independent, 20.03.95)
Rank-Broadley is known for his dynamic and emotive sculptures – from national monuments to private commissions, the acclaimed artist creates bronzes with vigor and skill. His works encompass large and small sculptures, busts and plaques. All are imbued with life, majesty and intensity.
Rank-Broadley’s largest commission to date is the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire – the nationally significant work that honours those members of the Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) who were killed on duty. The Memorial is a stunning piece of architecture comprising a 43 metre diameter stone structure, with fourteen of Rank-Broadley’s bronzes, in two groups, on either side of a central bronze laurel wreath, representing loss and sacrifice. The sculptures bear silent witness to the cost of armed conflict. Rank-Broadley won the Marsh Award for Public Sculpture for this work.
His imposing life-size figure of St Matthew for St Matthew’s Northampton (2008) stands well between Henry Moore’s Madonna & Child and Graham Sutherland’s Crucifixion These works alone place Rank-Broadley in a unique position within British art and culture.
Other public works by Rank-Broadley can also be seen at the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum, , St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rijksmuseum ,Amsterdam