Monday, 1 May 2017

John van Nost III - recent research - Greg Sullivan

John van Nost III.
in Irish Fine Art..... pub. Irish Academic Press, 2016.
This collection of papers contains a useful 30 page illustrated essay by Greg Sullivan on van Nost III and his career in Ireland - The 'Strange and Unaccountable'* John van Nost: The Making of a Sculptural Career in Eighteenth Century Ireland.
A useful introduction to the career of John van Nost III.
* The title of this essay taken from a letter by Benjamin Victor published in Original Letters, Dramatic Pieces and Poems, London 1776.  Vol I, p. 264/5 dated 20 April 1756.
see below -
For potted biog. of Victor (d. 1778) see -
In this letter Victor appears to make out that it was his intervention with the
Board of Alderman of the committee appointed to erect the equestrian statue of George I for St Stephen's Green that persuaded them to select John van Nost III for this task. Sullivan points out that van Nost submitted two estimates for this work in 1752 for between £1200 and £1730 undercutting a price from Roubiliac by £400.
Sullivan further points out that Roubiliac had no experience of casting such a large statue in bronze or any other material and would probably have had to subcontract this work, but that the van Nosts had a mould from taken in 1719 of the bronze cast of le Seuer's horse of the equestrian statue of Charles I at Charing Cross and the van Nost workshops had already provided six royal equestrian statues using this mould with differing riders. (see my previous postings on this blog).
It should also be pointed out that Roubiliac by this time had become a very successful sculptor and did not need this work.
The van Nost workshop had been in Portugal Row at the Hyde Park Corner end of Piccadilly ( a Mr Noast was at Portugal Street between 1744 and 49 (City of Westminster Poor Rates C228 - C237).
 In 1749 John van Nost had presented a terracotta bust for approval to the Dublin Society (untraced) suggesting that van Nost had established himself in Dublin by this date.
Further mention of the ups and downs of the career of John van Nost in the letters of Benjamin Victor (below)
Two Marble busts by John van Nost in the entrance Hall of the Rotunda Hospital in Parnell Square, Dublin
Sullivan writes on the busts currently in the entrance hall of the Rotunda Hospital, Dublins first Lying in or maternity hospital - the project of Bartholomew Mosse. below are the two marble busts - there is a further plaster bust of Mosse attributed to van Nost.
Mosse was responsible for the Lying - in Hospital project opened in 1757 and also for the abortive project for a pleasure garden. He ordered 6 classical lead statues and four marble busts ( Earl of Kildare, Bishop of Clogher, Speaker Henry Boyle and Sir Arthur Gore). from Nosts correspondence the project was to have been for twelve marble busts and two lead statues (one gilded)of George II and the Prince of Wales. Mosse died in 1759. Van Nost was paid  only £97 7s 3d of the £147 17s agreed. In 1759 he wrote that despite the statues being on pedestals in the garden  he had not received any payment - the statues were returned! (Rotunda Archives - Priv1263/14/673).
Bust most likely Speaker Henry Boyle, Earl of Shannon
or perhaps Arthur Gore, Ist Earl of Arran and Viscount Sudley.
Photograph Greg Sullivan from Irish Fine Art....
Portrait of Henry Boyle by Stephen Slaughter, Ballyfinn Demesne.
Info Wikipedia.
Marble bust of Robert Clayton, Protestant Bishop of Clogher.
Photograph Greg Sullivan from Irish Fine Art.....
Photograph by T.F. Geoghegan of a painting formerly in Bishopscourt, Clones, now in St. Angelo, Ballinamallard, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
National Library of Ireland.
to be continued.....

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