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Figure - Narcissus

Narcissus

  • Object:

    Figure

  • Place of origin:

    Stoke-on-Trent (made)

  • Date:

    1846 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gibson, John, born 1790 - died 1866 (sculptor)
    Copeland & Co. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Parian ware

  • Credit Line:

    Transferred from the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street

  • Museum number:

    2789-1901

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case 13, shelf 1

This parian figure is after the marble sculpture 'Narcissus' by John Gibson (1790-1866), now in the Royal Academy of Arts, London. In Greek mythology Narcissus was a handsome youth who spurned many suitors only to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool, eventually dying inconsolate.

This figure was commissioned by the Art Union of London, an organisation established in 1836 for the encouragement of British artists and the improvement of public taste in matters of the arts. The Union had an annual subscription rate for which each subscriber received an engraving of a painting, and also the chance of winning a prize picture or sculpture.

Parian-ware, a matt white porcelain developed in the 1840s, recalled the sheen and translucency of the marble of classical sculpture and was widely used for decorative figures.

Physical description

'Parian ware' figure of Narcissus. Nude figure of a boy seated on a rock and bending forward, with a pipe in his left hand.

Place of Origin

Stoke-on-Trent (made)

Date

1846 (made)

Artist/maker

Gibson, John, born 1790 - died 1866 (sculptor)
Copeland & Co. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Parian ware

Marks and inscriptions

NARCISSUS BY GIBSON R.A. Modelled by E.B. STEPHEN and executed in STATUARY PORCELAIN BY COPELAND FOR THE ART UNION OF LONDON 1846'
Printed in red on underside

Copeland
incised

Dimensions

Height: 30.2 cm, Width: 24.2 cm

Object history note

Given by Alderman Copeland. Transferred from Jermyn Street Collection.

Descriptive line

Figure of 'Narcissus', 'Parian' ware, after a statue by John Gibson, made by Copeland, Stoke-on-Trent, 1846

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

no. 45
Smith, Alison (ed.), Exposed : the Victorian nude. London : Tate Publishing, 2001

Production Note

After a statue by John Gibson.

Materials

Parian (porcelain)

Categories

Ceramics; Parian ware

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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