Flaxman, John (1755-1826) by Scholes, Robert

John Flaxman (1755 – 1826) Born in York, he worked in London at his father’s plastercasting studio, and studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1769. In 1787, he moved to Rome where he was Director of Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery. John Flaxman was the first British sculptor to achieve a major international reputation, and in his time, the early 19th century, his work was hugely admired both in Britain and the Continent. He was responsible for some of the most famous monuments in St Paul’s Cathedral, to Nelson and others, but he was equally renowned for his designs for Wedgwood pottery and his illustrations to classic authors like Dante and Homer. His work ranges from gigantic monuments to celebrities to touching single-figure memorial slabs for ordinary people. His work was important for William Blake.

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