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Creator:
Thomas Banks, 1735–1805, British
Title:

Dr. Anthony Addington

Former Title(s):

A Bust of the late Dr. Addington of Reading [1791, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Date:
1790
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
Overall: 29 1/8 × 17 15/16 × 10 1/16 inches (74 × 45.5 × 25.5 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Inscribed on name plate: "A. ADDINGTON/ M. D."

Inscribed on socle: "OB. MARCH 21.1790. AGED.76."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B2016.16
Classification:
Sculptures
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
marble | physician | portrait | sculpture
Associated People:
Addington, Anthony (1713–1790), physician
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:72217
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Thomas Banks was among the most innovative sculptors in late eighteenth-century Britain. He specialized in ambitious historical and mythological subjects but occasionally turned his hand to portrait busts with wholly original results. This arresting bust represents Dr. Anthony Addington, a physician who specialized in psychiatric disorders and who numbered King George III among his patients. It was commissioned posthumously by Addington’s son, Henry, and was made from a death mask taken shortly after Addington died. Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, a lifelong friend of Henry Addington, remarked that this bust was so lifelike it was “the only bust he could ever talk to.” Yet Banks suffered during the reactionary climate of the 1790s when Britain was at war with Revolutionary France. He was arrested on suspicion of treason in 1794, with Pitt claiming he was “a violent democrat.” His career never fully recovered.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)



Thomas Banks was among the most innovative sculptors in late eighteenth-century Britain. He specialized in ambitious historical and mythological subjects but occasionally turned his hand to portrait busts with wholly original results. This arresting bust represents Dr. Anthony Addington, a physician who specialized in psychiatric disorders and who numbered King George III among his patients. It was commissioned posthumously by Addington’s son, Henry, and was made from a death mask taken shortly after Addington died. Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, a lifelong friend of Henry Addington, remarked that this bust was so lifelike it was “the only bust he could ever talk to.” Yet Banks suffered during the reactionary climate of the 1790s when Britain was at war with Revolutionary France. He was arrested on suspicion of treason in 1794, with Pitt claiming he was “a violent democrat.” His career never fully recovered. Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

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