Sunday, 1 November 2015

Terracotta of Milton by Rysbrack, Fitzwilliam Museum

A Terracotta bust of John Milton (1608 - 74).
by Michael Rysbrack (1694 - 1770).
On the front of base inscribed; MILTON.
Signed on the back - Mich: Rysbrack/1738.
60 cms tall.
This bust corresponds with Rysbrack's first marble bust of Milton, now in Westminster Abbey, with a few minor changes of arrangement.
Formerly in the collection of Sir Edward Littleton, Bart., who bought it from Rysbrack for his new house, Teddesley Park, Staffordshire, 1757; it remained there until removed to London by Lord Hatherton, a collateral descendant, in 1931; exh. Messrs Spink's, London and bought through them from Lord Hatherton, 1932. See previous entry on this blog
Goodison, J. W. 1955. Catalogue of Cambridge Portraits I The University Collection.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Pressp. p. 77
Publ. no. 104, p. 77 This bust corresponds with Rysbrack's first marble bust of Milton, now in Westminster Abbey, with a few minor changes of arrangement. Another marble of the same pattern is said to have been made for Auditor William Benson. The pattern is evidently based directly on the ad vivum engraving of William Faithorne of 1670. 'When I was at Stourhead, a house in Wiltshire formerly belonging to the Colt Hoares, now in the possession of the National Trust, the other day, I noticed in the library a marble version of our Milton by Rysbrack. So far as I know it has not previously been recorded.'J.W. Goodison, 7. 9. 1953.

Goodison had obviously not corresponded with Marjorie Webb (see below).

Webb, Marjorie Isabel. 1954. Michael Rysbrack: Sculptor.London?: p. p. 221
Publ. Illustrated, p. 221. p. 115 'The two other marble busts of Milton by Rysbrack went to Auditor Benson's house, which he built at Wilbury in Wiltshire, and from there passed either by inheritance or by purchase to Stourhead. They stand in niches over the doors in the Library at Stourhead.'
Esdaile, Katharine A.. 1932. The Art of John Michael Rysbrack in Terracotta.
Publ. Illustrated, pl. 1
Eustace, Katharine. 1982. Michael Rysbrack Sculptor 1694-1770.Bristol: p. pp. 167, 169
Cf. The marble bust at Stourhead, p. 167, no. 76. This bust is mentioned in text.
See also George Vertue's engraving of 1725 of Milton, p. 169, no. 77. Based on William Faithorne's engraving, published 1670.
John Milton
Engraved by William Faithorne.
John Milton
Engraved by George Vertue
John Milton
Engraved by George Vertue
John Milton
engraved by van der Gucht.
John Milton
Engraved by John Simon

The Marble bust of John Milton by Michael Rysbrack
in the Library, Stourhead. Wiltshire

John Milton
Huntington Library.

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