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John Flaxman, 1755–1826, British

Inscribed Notes

Additional Title(s):

Verso: Groundplan of the Temple of the Sibyl, Tivoli, with Inscribed Notes

Part Of:

Collective Title: Italian Sketchbook, Studies from Florence and Rome, begun 1787

Graphite, pen and ink and chalk on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper bound in vellum
Sheet: 8 5/8 x 6 inches (21.9 x 15.2 cm) and Spine: 9 inches (22.9 cm)

Inscribed in ink: "Mr Wedgewood | 1788 | <March ,11th> 12th to J Flaxman Rome | A portrait of the Prince of Peidmont | for a bracelet in wax modeled from | a Miniature in a snuff box | ordered by Mr Josa Wedgwood | delivered this day to Mr Jenkins | this day for passage to England - | 22d | Recieved of Mr Jenkins by order of Mr J Wedgwood"; in graphite: "1789 Marble 4-75 | Carriage to Bernardo -40 | Bernadino 1 - | Sawing 1 - | Carriage to Strada | Felice & setting up 1 - 10 | May Mr Deveare paid for | work on this in Strada Felice 1 - 50 | another piece of Marble 4 - | Carriage to Strada Felice -50 | Setting up - 15 | June work on the same 4 - | d 2 - | July 2d d 4 - | 6th Carriage to the other Study - 20 | sent to Mr Knight | 1788 £ | Septr | A basreleif of | Bacchanals in | Terra Cotta copied | From the P Burghese's | Vase 35 - | Packing Case 15 | 1791 | May 19 | A Marble bust of Homer | & Pedestal 35 - | A packing Case 10 - | Ten drawings of bas | reliefs | expence of another bus

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors-Sketchbooks
Prints and Drawings
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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For the British artist studying in Italy, the sketchbook was a crucial tool. Three on "classic ground" the act of drawing focused the attention and aided the understanding. Back in Britain the sketchbook provided not only a record of the art and landscape encountered but also a repertoire of poses, figural groupings, and compositional ideas from the ancients and the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque or of richly evocative landscape elements that could be incorporated into their own art. While their sketchbooks show them to have been eager and receptive students, both George Romney and John Flaxman made their visits to Italy as mature well-established artists. Romney interrupted a successful practice as a portrait painter to travel to Italy between 1773 and 1775. flaxman by 1787 had earned enough as a sculptor to afford a more extended stay in Italy, remaining there until 1794. The Sketchbooks by Romney and Flaxman are each filled with drawings after antique sculpture and works of the early high Renaissance in both Florence and Rome. Romney's sketches are freer and interspersed with original compositional studies; Flaxman's drawings are more disciplined, frequently worked up with pen and ink and wash.

Eckart Marchand, Flaxman: The Yale Sketchbook, Sketchbook Used by John Flaxman During His Stay in Italy (1787-94) Containing Sketches from Florence and Rome, Dated 4 November 1787 , vol. 72, 2010, pp. 119-85, figs. 1-87, N12 W35 A1 72 + (YCBA)

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