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John Bacon sculptor portrait engraving etching Dance Daniell

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John Bacon RA


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Original antique portrait print


John Bacon (1740 - 1799) was a British sculptor. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to a manufacturer of porcelain at Lambeth, where he painted and then modelled china. In 1758 a small figure of Peace sent by him to the Society for the Encouragement of Arts received a prize, and the highest premiums given by that society were adjudged to him nine times between the years 1763 and 1776. He also worked for the Coade Artificial Stone Manufactory. Bacon first attempted working in marble in about 1763, and during the course of his early efforts in this art was led to improve the method of transferring the form of the model to the marble (technically "getting out the points") by the invention of a more perfect instrument for the purpose. This instrument possessed many advantages; it was more exact, took a correct measurement in every direction, was contained in a small compass, and could be used on either the model or the marble. In 1769 he was awarded the first gold medal for sculpture given by the Royal Academy, for a bas-relief representing the escape of Aeneas from Troy. In 1770 he exhibited a figure of Mars, which gained him the gold medal of the Society of Arts and his election as A.R.A. As a consequence of this success he was engaged to execute a bust of King George III, intended for Christ Church, Oxford. He retained the king's favour throughout life, though he was commonly criticised for ignorance of classic style. This charge he refuted with a noble head of Jupiter Tonans, and many of his emblematical figures are in perfect classical taste. Dance was an architect, draughtsman and founder member of the Royal Academy. This portrait comes from a series of chalk portraits that he did of his friends, 72 of which were engraved and published (1808-1814) by Daniell who was an engraver as well as a reknown landscape painter. Accompanied by original text description.

Additional Information

artist William Daniell RA (1769-1837) after George Dance the Younger (1741-1825)
method Soft ground etching
date No
size 270mm by 200mm (platemark)
SKU PT6019