John Gibson, RA 1790-l866
Sculpture shelf on the Sackler Wing Landing, Royal Academy, London
In 1864, John Gibson wrote to the President of the Academy (then, Sir Charles Eastlake) saying that he wished to follow the examples of his masters, Canova in Italy and Thorwaldsen in Denmark, and leave "all the models of my work executed in marble, with the chief part of my fortune, to the Royal Academy." He expressed the hope that "the collection of my models seen together would be of use to the young sculptors as to style" (qtd. in Read 33). A row of these models (including one figure in marble) now makes an impressive welcome at the top of the glass stairs of the Sackler Wing, which was added in 1991.
Photograph and text Jacqueline Banerjee, 2010
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