Survey Data

Reg No




Categories of Special Interest

Artistic, Historical, Technical

Original Use


In Use As



1865 - 1870


315990, 234068

Date Recorded


Date Updated



Freestanding statue, erected 1866, comprising electro-typed copper-bronze standing male figure, set on square-plan carved stepped granite plinth with inscribed lettering, having carved architrave and base. Located on lawn, south of entrance to Trinity College.


This figure of Oliver Goldsmith was made by J.H. Foley. Electro-casting or electro-typing is a casting method invented by Moritz Von Jacobi in 1838, involving the use of chemical processes to create a perfect metal coating, and was quickly adopted by many contemporary sculptors. Foley, known for his ability to capture the individuality of his subjects through their stance, designed the three statues sited in College Square, Grattan (set on the traffic island to the west of Trinity College), Edmund Burke to the north, as well as this realisation of Goldsmith. Goldsmith, who graduated from Trinity in 1749, appears studious and contemplative. The work is a fitting portrayal of the poet, novelist, dramatist and eccentric, famed as the author of works such as 'She Stoops to Conquer' and 'The Vicar of Wakefield'. This statue, along with its corresponding piece to the north, form part of an appropriate entrance ensemble, as two prominent alumni flanking the main arch. The detail and skill apparent in its execution is of considerable artistic merit, while the granite plinth serves to connect the statue with the surrounding buildings.