William Pitt (1759-1806) Prime Minister

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street

    Here Prime Minister William Pitt is represented in draped fabric, demonstrating the influence of antique Roman sculpture. This marble bust is one of a number of copies of a prime version by Nollekens, which the sculptor signed and dated it 1813, seven years after Pitt’s death.

  • About the artist
    Joseph Nollekens, son of Joseph Francis Nollekens, a painter from Antwerp, was born in Dean Street, Soho. He studied under the sculptor Peter Scheemakers, before attending William Shipley’s drawing school on the Strand. In 1762 he travelled to Rome where he worked as an antiques dealer, restorer and copier, as well as sculpting portraits of English tourists. By 1771, he had returned to London and taken a house in Mortimer Street, Marylebone. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1772. He sculpted several church monuments and mythological subjects but it was his portrait busts which grew in popularity throughout his career. His final years were plagued by ill health and by 1816 he was almost deaf. He died at the age of 85.
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  • Details
    Title
    William Pitt (1759-1806) Prime Minister
    Date
    Medium
    Marble bust
    Dimensions
    height: 68.00 cm, width: 44.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Possibly purchased from Frank Partridge, 1937
    Provenance
    Purchased from Frank Partridge, 1937 (probably)
    GAC number
    155