Sir Francis Chantrey, R. A. (1781-1841)

“When Flaxman was in his mid-fifties in 1809, Chantrey, aged twenty-eight, was beginning his professional career with a very precocious order for four colossal plaster busts, at 10 guineas each, of Admirals Howe, St Vincent, Duncan and Nelson forthe Naval Hospital at Greenwich. Over the next five years . . . Chantrey began to build his career as the most able and inventive maker of marble and plaster busts, in which likeness and personality are vividly captured. No greater distance in terms of presentation, style and subject matter could there be than that between Flaxman of Buckingham Street and Chantrey of Eccleston Street, Pimlico. Where Flaxman produced monuments for dead gentry, soldiers and government officials, Chantrey created intelligent life in marble for the burgeoning professions. In the early 1810s Chantrey enlivened the name and memory of the Sheffield doctor John Browne, the radical politician Sir Francis Burdett, the surgeon Henry Cline, the agriculturalist Thomas Johnes of Hafod, and rhc mathematician John Playfair. These were the coming men, and so was Francis Chantrey. Where the generation of Rysbrack and Roubiliac created an iconography for a national identity with their sculpture, Flaxman and Chantrey in their generation expressed national purpose” — James Hamilton (117)

Biographical material

Monuments and Portrait Sculpture

Funerary monuments


Hamilton, James. A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in Nineteenth-Century Great Britain. London: Atlantic Books, 2014.

Last modified 25 January 2024