Saturday, 23 January 2016

"Dog with Lizard" Joseph Gott sculptor 1786 - 1860

I was requested and honoured to photograph this beautiful statue, a work by Joseph Gott who was born in Calverley near Leeds and at age 74 died in Rome.  He was apprenticed at the age of 12 to John Flaxman R.A. in 1798, and became a British sculptor and draughtsman, and a leading figure in British and European Neoclassicism. 

(John Flaxman R.A. was a British sculptor and draughtsman, and a leading figure in British and European Neoclassicism.  Early in his career he worked as a modeller for Josiah Wedgwood's pottery) 

Gott arrived in Rome in 1822, armed with a letter of introduction from the painter Thomas Lawrence to the greatest living sculptor, Antonio Canova, though Canova died before he could be of any assistance.  He lived in Rome and had many English Patrons including Earl Cadogan and Earl of Shrewsbury.  

He was a regular exhibitor at the Academy, showing an eclectic range of works including ideas for monuments, statues of classical, biblical and Shakespearian subjects, animal groups, portrait busts and profile reliefs. His most ambitious achievement in funerary art, was the monument to  Colonel Edward Cheney of the Scots Greys. Cheney had died heroically at the battle of Waterloo after four horses had been killed under him. Gott chose to portray the moment when the Colonel’s fifth horse sank beneath him with a bullet-wound in its throat. The alabaster monument can be found in the chancel of St. Luke's Parish church, Gaddesby Leicestershire.

My first attempt was with a flash as it was just so dark but I don't like the shadows.  I intend to try again when I can use daylight!  When I next visit Chatsworth House I must look for Joseph Gott’s greyhounds in the gallery. 

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