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Paternoster (sculpture)

Elisabeth Frink - Paternoster (4868077725).jpg
The sculpture in 2012
ArtistElisabeth Frink
Year1975; 45 years ago (1975)
LocationLondon, EC4
United Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′53″N 0°05′56″W / 51.514647°N 0.098892°W / 51.514647; -0.098892

Paternoster (FCR 243), also known as Shepherd and Sheep or Shepherd with his Flock,[1] is an outdoor 1975 bronze sculpture by Elisabeth Frink, installed in Paternoster Square near St Paul's Cathedral in London, United Kingdom.[2]

The statue measures 84 by 129 by 32 inches (213 cm × 328 cm × 81 cm). It depicts an androgynous shepherd herding five sheep. The subject of the statue reflects the former use of Paternoster Row as the site of Newgate Market for the sale of livestock and meat, and may also have theological overtones of the Good Shepherd, reflecting its position in the shadow of St Paul's Cathedral. It may draw inspiration from husbandry in the Cévennes region of France, where Frink spent time at the vineyard of her second husband Edward Pool in the late 1960s to early 1970s, or from Picasso's 1944 sculpture Man with Sheep, and may also play on the religious and linguistic similarity between the Latin paternoster ("our father") and pastor (shepherd).

The statue was commissioned by Trafalgar House for the north side of its 1960s development at Paternoster Square. It unveiled in July 1975 by Yehudi Menuhin, who described it as "the antithesis of the buildings surrounding us". Around the same time, Trafalgar House also commissioned Frink's Horse and Rider statue, unveiled at Dover Street on Piccadilly in 1975.

It was removed in 1997 to a temporary location on London Wall near the Museum of London while the site was redeveloped, and was reinstalled in 2003 on a new Portland stone plinth after the redevelopment was completed.

A series of eight smaller statues was created in the 1980s. One example at All Saints Church in Great Thurlow in Suffolk, in memory of Ronald Vestey, scion of the Vestey Brothers butchery empire: he was the son of Sir Edmund Vestey, 1st Baronet, and the father of Edmund Hoyle Vestey. Frink was born nearby, in Great Thurlow.

See also


  1. ^ Manners, Jamie. The Seven Noses of Soho. Michael O'Mara Books. p. 14. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  2. ^ Frink, Elisabeth (2013). Elisabeth Frink: Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture 1947–93. Ashgate Publishing. p. 128. Retrieved 22 November 2015.