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George Rennie's statue Cupid Rekindling the Torch of Hymen
George Rennie (1801 or 1802 – 22 March 1860) was a Scottishmarker sculptor and politician.

Rennie was the son of George Rennie, agriculturist, of Phantassie, East Lothianmarker, and nephew of John Rennie, the civil engineer.

In early life he studied sculpture at Rome, and exhibited statues and busts at the Royal Academymarker from 1828 to 1837. He also exhibited three times at the Suffolk Street Gallery during the same period. His most important works at the academy were: A Gleaner and Grecian Archer, 1828; Cupid and Hymen (depicting Cupid blowing on the torch of Hymen to rekindle its flame) and busts of Thorwaldsen and John Rennie, 1831; The Archer (which he afterwards presented to the Athenaeum Club) and bust of Wilkie, 1833; The Minstrel, 1834; a group of four figures in marble, 1837.

 Cupid and Hymen is in the Victoria and Albert Museummarker, Londonmarker. In 2005 it was temporarily removed from display pending reorganisation of the museum's sculpture galleries but is now back on display in the sculpture court adjoining the central courtyard.

With a view to improving the state of the arts in this country, he turned his attention to politics.

In 1836 he suggested to Sir William Ewart the formation of the parliamentary committee which led to the establishment of the schools of design at Somerset Housemarker, and assisted the efforts of Joseph Hume to obtain for the public freedom of access to all monuments and works of art in public buildings and museums.

From 1841 to 1847 he was Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Ipswichmarker, retiring before the 1847 general election in favour of Hugh Adair.

In 1842 he proposed the "New Edinburgh" scheme for establishing a Scottish settlement in New Zealandmarker (the city is now called Dunedinmarker).

On 15 December 1847 he was appointed to the governorship of the Falkland Islandsmarker, and raised that small colony from an abject condition to one of as great prosperity as its limited resources allowed; while he offered a firm resistance to the extravagant claims of the United Statesmarker, without provoking a rupture. He returned to England in 1855. He died in London on 22 March 1860.


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