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Joseph Nollekens, 1737–1823

Charles James Fox

Former Title(s):

Bust of a gentleman [1791, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Materials & Techniques:
Overall: 27 1/4 x 18 1/2 x 10 inches (69.2 x 47 x 25.4 cm)

Chiseled on front of socle: "C. J. FOX | AE1. 43."; on supporting column on back of bust: "Charles James Fox | Aged 43."

Signed and dated by chisel on supporting column on back of bust: "Nollekens Ft. | 1792."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
man | politician | politics | portrait
Associated People:
Fox, Charles James (1749–1806), politician
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Charles James Fox was the leading Whig politician of the late eighteenth century and the dogged opponent of George III. Along with other Whigs, such as the Duke of Richmond and the Marquess of Rockingham, Fox opposed fighting to retain the American colonies and instead favored a negotiated transition to independence. A redoubtable opponent of slavery, Fox spoke eloquently in the House of Commons in favor of the abolition of the slave trade, something finally accomplished in 1807 with his Slave Trade Act, although Fox himself died shortly before it passed. Fox sat to Joseph Nollekens for his portrait in 1790 at the insistence of Earl Fitzwilliam, and the result was one of the sculptor’s masterpieces. The bust was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1791 and proved immensely popular. This example is one of several copies the sculptor’s studio made for Fox’s friends and political associates.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

The Critique of Reason : Romantic Art, 1760–1860 (Yale University Art Gallery, 2015-03-06 - 2015-07-26) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Entrance Court 2003-4 (Yale Center for British Art, 2003-03-01 - 2004-09-07) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Malcolm Baker, "No Cap or Wig but a Chin Hair upon it", Hair and the male portrait bust in England around 1750 , Eighteenth Century Studies, vol. 38, Fall 2004, p. 73, NX452 E54 38 [ORBIS]

Malcolm Baker, Return to Life : a new look at the portrait bust, an exhibition produced by Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, National Portrait Gallery, London and Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh , Leeds, England, 2000, pp. 36-37, NB 1309 R47 2000 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Christie's Sales Catalogue : Important European Sculpture and Works of Art : 6 December 1988, Christie's, December 6, 1988, p. 67, lot 135, Sales Catalogues (YCBA)

Frank Davis, A Golden Age of Sculpture, Country Life, vol. 149, April 8, 1971, p. 818, S3 C68 149:4 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Benjamin Disraeli, Benjamin Disraeli Letters, Volume III , vol. 3, University of Toronto Press, Toronto ; Buffalo, 1987, p. 294, DA564 B3 A4 1982 (SML) [ORBIS]

Joseph Farington, The Diary of Joseph Farington, , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1978, vol. 8, p. 3060, NJ18 F2164 A3 1978 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Rupert Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, Murrays Books sales, London, 1968, p. 276, NB496 G85 1968 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Kenwood House, Eighteenth Century Portrait Busts, Exhibition at the Iveagh Bequest Kenwood : June to September 1959 , London County Council, London, June to September 1959, no. 21, NB1309 L65 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Edward Lascelles, The Life of Charles James Fox, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1936, pp. 277, 326, By 58 119t (SML) [ORBIS]

London, General Evening Post, London, England, December 8, 1791 - December 10, 1791, (pages unnumbered), Available online at 17th-18th Century Burney Col Available online at 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. Gale Document Number: Z2000475304 [ORBIS]

Rod MacLeod, A Fox Tale, A Bust of Charles James Fox by Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823), British Art Journal, vol. 19 no. 2, Art Journals Ltd, London, p. 74, N6761 B74 (LC) Oversize (YCBA) Bound volumes located on balcony; current issues on periodical shelf [YCBA]

Max M. Mintz, The Generals of Saratoga, John Burgoyne & Horatio Gates , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1990, no. 18, E241 S2 M56 1990 (SML) [ORBIS]

Arthur Oswald, Woolbeding, Sussex-II, The Home of Mr. Edward Lascelles , Country Life, vol. 102, August 15, 1947, pp. 328-332, Uzfe60 C83 102 (LSF) [ORBIS]

L.G.G. Ramsey, The Connoisseur new guide to English painting and sculpture, Tudor-early Victorian, , London, England, 1962, p. 82, Jda42 962C (LSF) [ORBIS]

Ingrid Roscoe, A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2009, pp. 898, 907, no. 226, NB496 B56 2009 (YCBA) (Wall Shelf 3) Yale electronic resource also available online: Orbis [YCBA]

John Thomas Smith, Nollekens and His Times, vol. 2, H. Colburn, London, pp. II, 23, 332, I 73, 381-382, NB497 N8 S7 1828 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's, [ Advertisement ] : Sotheby's : Fine English Furniture, works of art, sculpture, textiles, rugs and carpets, Friday 20, November, 1970 , The Times (London), Tuesday, November 10, 1970, p. 22, Available online : Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm : An T482 (SML) [ORBIS]

Angus Trumble, The Marble Bust, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2004, no. 6, V 1304 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellis Waterhouse, Sculpture from the Paul Mellon Collection at the British Art Center at Yale, Burlington Magazine, vol. 119, May 1977, p. 351, N1 +B87 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Margaret Whinney, Sculpture in Britain, 1530-1830, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, England, 1988, pp. 295, 300-302, NB464 W5 1988 (YCBA) [YCBA]

David Wilson, Nollekens and Fox in the Temple, The Armitslead Bust , British Art Journal, vol. 2, Autumn 2003, p. 68, N6761 B74 4 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

David Wilson, The Boy in the Temple, Joseph Nollekens' last portrait bust of Bob St John , British Art Journal, vol. 2, Spring/Summer 2006, p. 24 n.20, N6761 B747 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

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