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Design - A Preliminary Sketch for the Monument to the Hon. Mrs Henry Howard in Wetheral Church, Cumberland
  • A Preliminary Sketch for the Monument to the Hon. Mrs Henry Howard in Wetheral Church, Cumberland
    Nollekens, Joseph Frans, born 1737 - died 1823
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A Preliminary Sketch for the Monument to the Hon. Mrs Henry Howard in Wetheral Church, Cumberland

  • Object:

    Design

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1782 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chalk on laid paper

  • Museum number:

    E.456-2010

  • Gallery location:

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

This design made by Joseph Nollekens is for a sepulchral monument, a structure marking or denoting a burial site, commemorating the tragic deaths of Mrs Henry Howard and her newborn baby. She died in childbirth. Her monument is in Wetheral Church, Cumberland. The design represents Religion, in the form of a woman, comforting the dying Mrs Howard with her infant in her lap. This is a variant of another design for the monument [E.470-2010]. This monument was widely praised as Nollekens' masterpiece by his contemporaries. There is a terracotta model for this monument in the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) which shows Nollekens' first idea for the project. This drawing is compositionally much closer to the monument of which there is a trial drawing in the V&A. 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". As a draughtsman he was exceptionally well trained for his day.

Physical description

Design showing a female figure standing over, pointing upwards, and supporting the dying figure of a woman with a lifeless baby on a piece of paper in portrait format.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1782 (made)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Chalk on laid paper

Marks and inscriptions

'80.7.11'
In pencil inside mount at bottom right

Dimensions

Height: 18.8 cm, Width: 23.6 cm

Object history note

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, London, 1782.

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.

Production Note

Attribution note: There is a terracotta model for this monument in the Victoria and Albert Museum which shows Nollekens first idea for project. This drawing is compositionally much closer to the monument of which there is a trial drawing in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Materials

Chalk; Laid paper

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Sepulchral monuments

Categories

Sculpture; Designs; Death

Production Type

Design

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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