John Flaxman

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Flaxman, John,

1755–1826, English sculptor and draftsman. At 20 he went to work for Josiah Wedgwood, designing the cameolike decorations for Wedgwood's pottery. Later, in Rome, he devoted himself to sculpture and produced outline figure drawings from Greek vases as illustrations for works of Homer, Dante, Aeschylus, and Hesiod. These were engraved by his friend William Blake. He is well known for his neoclassical memorial sculpture of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Admiral Earl Howe, and Lord Nelson (all: St. Paul's Cathedral).

Flaxman, John


Born July 6, 1755, in York; died Dec. 7, 1826, in London. English sculptor and graphic artist; representative of classicism.

Flaxman studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in London from 1770 to 1772 and became a professor there in 1810. From 1787 to 1794 he worked in Rome. He sculpted official monuments, including memorial stones in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. He executed elegant drawings in the style of ancient Greek vase painting to illustrate the Iliad and the Odyssey, the plays of Aeschylus, and Dante’s Divine Comedy (published 1793–1807 in engravings by T. Piroli). From 1775 to 1787, Flaxman created harmoniously clear reliefs in the antique spirit for the pottery manufacturer J. Wedgwood.


Constable, W. G. John Flaxman, 1755–1826. London, 1927.
References in periodicals archive ?
The conjunction of ceramics and photography may at first seem unusual but, of course, imagery on pots has a venerable tradition, whether it is the Achilles Painter illustrating a warrior saying farewell to his wife, the Niobid Painter showing Artemis and Apollo killing the children of Niobe, or John Flaxman illustrating classical legends for Wedgwood pottery.
An extraordinary example of late 18th century Wedgwood, also received from the Deutscher's, is the Homer Vase (c 1800) executed in blue jasperware with white relief ornament by John Flaxman, the younger (1755-1826), the foremost English Neoclassical sculptor.
IKON GALLERY, OOZELLS SQUARE, BRINDLEY PLACE, BIRMINGHAM: Line to Contour, drawings and plaster models by British neoclassicist John Flaxman, exhibition of applique works by Russian artist Timor Novikov, film by Angolan artist Nastio Mosquito, all until April 21.
It was modelled in 1778 by the great John Flaxman Jr from an ancient Etruscan vase brought back from Italy by the antiquarian Sir William Hamilton, now in the British Museum.
7) Blake had no doubt seen the woodcuts on display as well, and he subscribed to the emblem book along with Richard Cosway, Robert Cromek, Henry Fuseli, and John Flaxman.
He suggests the sculptor John Flaxman may have been the catalyst who lit the Swedenborgian spark in his friend William; he notes Blake's future patron, William Hayley, with whom Flaxman exchanged books by or about Swedenborg, entrusted his son to Flaxman's tutelage.
Among the medieval narrative sources accessible to the artists, Havely identifies as the most significant Boccaccio's version in his Esposizioni, whose influence is discernible in the illustrations by Henry Fuseli, John Flaxman, and Jean August Dominique Ingres.
adding a picture-gallery decorated in a Neo-Classical style, a sculpture-gallery, another picture-gallery in the Greek style, a Hindoo Room, an Egyptian Revival Room (with furniture in an extraordinarily powerful Graeco-Egyptian style designed by himself), a Flaxman Room lo show off works by John Flaxman (1755-1826), and various other rooms for the display of Greek vases.
For fifty-six years, from 1950 to 2006, I acquired books, prints, and drawings by William Blake and his friends, such as the writer and artist George Cumberland, the sculptor John Flaxman, the book-illustrator Thomas Stothard, and the sensational painter Henry Fuseli.
Girodet, although influenced by John Flaxman and Johann Heinrich Fussli, uses a different technique: the delicate overlay of ink washes creates subtle modulations, while Fussli contrasts vigorously dark washes on light-colored paper.