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Design - Design for Monument of Mary, Countess Talbot
  • Design for Monument of Mary, Countess Talbot
    Nollekens, Joseph Frans, born 1737 - died 1823
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Design for Monument of Mary, Countess Talbot

  • Object:

    Design

  • Place of origin:

    London (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1787 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nollekens, Joseph Frans, born 1737 - died 1823 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chalk and pencil on laid paper

  • Museum number:

    E.469-2010

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case A, shelf 190

This design made in about 1787 by Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823) is for the wall monument commemorating Mary, Countess of Talbot. A woman is shown leaning on a portrait medallion of the Countess that is resting on a sarcophagus or a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The marble wall monument is in Great Barrington Church, Gloucestershire. Nollekens is best known as the leading portrait sculptor in Britain between 1770 and 1815. With his fellow Royal Academicians Thomas Banks and John Flaxman he established the British School of sculpture following decades of dependence on immigrant sculptors (such as Rysbrack, Scheemakers and Roubiliac). Flaxman praised Nollekens as the only sculptor before Banks who had "formed his taste on the antique and introduced a purer style of art". Opportunities to study the antique were plentiful whilst Nollekens lived for eight years from 1762-1770 in Rome. As a draughtsman he was exceptionally well trained for his day.

Physical description

Design depicting a woman leaning on a portrait medallion of the deceased resting on a tablet supported by plain brackets. There is a faint scale up the right side.

Place of Origin

London (possibly, made)

Date

ca. 1787 (made)

Artist/maker

Nollekens, Joseph Frans, born 1737 - died 1823 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Chalk and pencil on laid paper

Marks and inscriptions

'25/11/70 Sotherby [sic] lot 117 / Nollekens / Design for Monument of Mary, Countess Talbot / at Great Barrington Church / Gloucestershire / Countess d. 1787'
In pencil inside mount at bottom

'80.6.211'
In pencil inside mount at bottom right

Dimensions

Height: 23.3 cm, Width: 18.6 cm

Object history note

'Mary, only daughter of Adam de Cardonnel of Bedhampton Park, Southampton, married in 1734 William, 2nd Baron and 1st Earl Talbot, and died in 1787 aged 68. The monument, erected in Great Barrington Church, Gloucestershire, was erected with slight differences from no.13 [now E.469-2010]. the V&A drawing shows a later stage in the design. The figure was carried out in relief.'

From: Kenworthy-Browne, John. Catalogue of Nollekens Drawings. The Property of Dr Arthur Sackler (unpublished typescript), no.13.

Historical significance: 'Nollekens is best known as the leading portrait sculptor in Britain between 1770 and 1815, and as the subject of the biography Nollekens and his Times (1828) by J.T. Smith. With his fellow Royal Academicians Thomas Banks and John Flaxman he established the British School of sculpture following decades of dependence on immigrant sculptors (such as Rysbrack, Scheemakers and Roubiliac). Flaxman praised Nollekens as the only sculptor before Banks who had "formed his taste on the antique and introduced a purer style of art". As a draughtsman he was exceptionally well trained for his day. He is also noted as a collector; he owned the three wax reliefs by Giambologna now in the V&A. The V&A's collection includes three busts by Nollekens, five of his terracottas, his marble copy after the antique, Castor and Pollux (1767)and his original marble of Diana (1778).'

Julius Bryant on RF 2010/245.

Historical context note

In the ca. 2009 edition of Gunnis's Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, design is identified as 'Sackler priv. col.'

Descriptive line

Design for sculpture by Joseph Nollekens, ca. 1787.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Roscoe, Ingrid, Hardy, Emma, Sullivan, M. G. A biographical dictionary of sculptors in England, 1660-1851. New Haven [Conn.]; London: Yale University Press, c.2009. pp.896-911.

Materials

Chalk; Laid paper; Pencil

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Sarcophagus; Sepulchral monuments

Categories

Sculpture; Designs; Death

Production Type

Design

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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