Reference Entry

Banks, Thomas

Julius Bryant

in Oxford Art Online

ISBN: 9780199532940
Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T006167
Banks, Thomas

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(bapt London, Dec 22, 1735; d London, Feb 2, 1805).

English sculptor . To his contemporaries and immediate heirs, Banks was one of the most original British Neo-classical sculptors, distinguished from John Bacon (i) and Joseph Nollekens by his greater dedication to the antique spirit rather than to the fashionable classical style alone. His persistent efforts to establish a market for modern gallery sculpture were exceptional in an age when most patrons preferred restored antique marbles, replicas, pastiches, busts and memorials. Sir Joshua Reynolds is said to have considered him to be ‘the first British sculptor who had produced works of classic grace’ and John Flaxman ranked him alongside Canova in stature.

The eldest son of William Banks, who became steward to the 4th Duke of Beaufort at Badminton, Thomas Banks attended school in Ross-on-Wye, Hereford & Worcs, then returned to London to be apprenticed for seven years to the mason and ornament-carver William Barlow. He spent his evenings studying in the studio of ...

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Subjects: Sculpture and Carving ; 18th-Century Art

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