John Gibson

(1790—1866) sculptor

Related Overviews

Antonio Canova (1757—1822) Italian sculptor

John Flaxman (1755—1826) sculptor, decorative designer, and illustrator


Bertel Thorvaldsen (1768—1770)

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(b Gyffin, nr. Conway, Wales, 28 Jan. 1790; d Rome, 27 Jan. 1866).

British Neoclassical sculptor. His early years were spent as a monumental mason in Liverpool, where he became a protégé of the banker and connoisseur William Roscoe. In 1817 he moved to London, where he met Flaxman, on whose encouragement he went to Rome that year with an introduction to Canova, whose pupil he became. Later he was also taught by Thorvaldsen. He spent nearly all the rest of his life in Rome apart from occasional visits to England, the longest being from 1844 to 1847. Gibson won recognition internationally as one of the outstanding Neoclassical sculptors, and in his enthusiasm for Greek art he experimented with the ancient practice of colouring statues (see polychromy), arousing much controversy. His best-known work of this type is the Tinted Venus (1851–6, Walker AG, Liverpool). He left most of the fortune he made from his work to the Royal Academy.

Subjects: Art.

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