Robert Forrest (1790 – 29 December 1852) was a Scottish monumental sculptor, receiving many important commissions in the early 19th century.
He was self-taught, beginning his working life as a mason in a stone quarry in Clydesdale. Allegedly his first patron, Colonel Gordon, discovered him in 1817, carving figures of animals in his quarry. His first commissioned work was a figure of Bacchus for the Colonel. Enough commissions fiollowed to allow him to adopt sculpture as his sole profession. He set up studio on the edge of a quarry near Lanark, living in nearby Carluke. Early works included "Old Norval", "Falstaff" and "Rob Roy".
In Edinburgh in 1830 he exhibited equestrian statues of the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Marlborough, Queen Mary and Lord Herries, together with "Robert the Bruce and the Monk". The exhibition of these works was apparently a popular attraction in Edinburgh for 20 years, totalling thirty of his works by the time of his death.
In his home area of Lanark he was commissioned to create a statue of William Wallace.
Other principal works
- Statue of Viscount Melville (1822) on top of the huge monument in the centre of St Andrews Square, Edinburgh. This is said to be based on a model by Francis Chantrey. The column itself is by the architect William Burn.
- "James V of Scotland at Cramond Brig" (1836) in Clermiston in Edinburgh.
- John Knox standing on a huge column (1825) in the centre of Glasgow Necropolis.
- The Duke of Wellington (1851) sited in Falkirk.
- Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh by Colin McWilliam
- Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, Rupert Gunnis