Bassae Frieze (2)

It was only on my return from Greece that I discovered, which I should probably have known, that the Royal Academy itself has casts of the Bassae Frieze.   Once the Frieze had arrived in the British Museum in 1815, the Academy commissioned a complete set of casts to be done by Richard Westmacott RA, a neoclassical sculptor who had studied at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, was a friend of Canova, and published An Account of the Arrangement of the Collection of Ancient Sculpture in the British Museum in 1808.   An active RA from when he first exhibited a bust of William Chambers in 1797, he believed that it was better for students to learn to draw from casts than the original.   So, whilst the originals were on display in Bloomsbury, students in the RA Schools would be taught to draw from copies in Somerset House on the Strand.

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4 thoughts on “Bassae Frieze (2)

  1. Mark Fisher says:

    Surely Westmacott was not “a neo-classical sculptor” but, for his contemporaries, THE neo-classical sculptor ? His reliefs on Marble Arch, portraits of so many men such as Pitt and Fox, and the Pediments of CIVILISATION on the British Museum.

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