Lectures On Sculpture, As Delivered Before The President And Members Of The Royal Academy. By John Flaxman, Esq., R.A., Professor Of Sculpture In The Royal Academy Of Great Britain, Member Of The Academies Of St. Luke, Rome, Florence, Carrara, Etc. With An Introductory Lecture, And Two Addresses To The Royal Academy, On The Death Of Thomas Banks, In 1805, And Of Antonio Canova, In 1822, And An Address On The Death Of Flaxman, By Sir Richard Westmacott, R.A. With Fifty-Three Plates. New Edition.

John Flaxman RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Bell & Daldy, 6, York Street, Covent Garden, And 186, Fleet Street., 1865.

Physical Description

xv, [1], 308 p., frontis. (port.), 52 pl.; 179 mm. (Octavo.)


[Frontis., t.p.] - Contents - Advertisement - Extracts From Sir Richard Westmacott's First Lecture ... - List Of Plates - A Brief Memoir Of The Author - [Text]; [colophon] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece portrait of Flaxman is captioned as 'from a model by himself'.

The plates are unsigned.

The text printer is named on the title-page verso and in the colophon: 'London: Printed By William Clowes And Sons, Stamford Street And Charing Cross.'


A. Schultz, 'From Student to Professor of Sculpture: John Flaxman and the Royal Academy', in D. Bindman, ed., John Flaxman 1755-1826 Master of the Purest Line [exhibition catalogue] (2003).

The context of Flaxman's work is outlined in S. Symmons, Flaxman and Europe (1984); D. Irwin, John Flaxman, 1755-1826 (1979); D. Bindman, John Flaxman R.A. [Royal Academy exhibition catalogue] (1979).

Summary Note

The Royal Academicians had elected John Flaxman as their first Professor of Sculpture in 1810. His lectures were carefully prepared, and include not only comments on the history of the art but also advice on technique, such as the modelling of drapery. Flaxman surveys not only ancient Greek and Roman sculpture but also European sculpture of the Romanesque and Gothic periods and that of ancient Egypt and India. His openness to less familiar styles was, however, not something with which he would 'dare to appear before the public'. He told Ludwig Schorn that 'It was the purpose of my lectures to the Academy to show that art in Christianity can rise higher than in paganism'.

The plates show sculpture of various periods. The frontispiece shows a portrait medallion of Flaxman.

Binding Note

[First copy:] 19th-century half calf, marbled-papered boards; gilt-decorated spine, brown morocco spine-label lettered 'Flaxman's Lectures On Sculpture'.

[Second copy:] 19th-century calf, upper cover lettered 'Royal Academy Of Arts - To George James Frampton For The Best Model Of A Figure From The Life - 1885'; gilt-decorated spine, red morocco spine-label lettered 'Flaxman's Lectures On Sculpture'.

Name as Subject


Sculpture - Theory - Techniques - Sculptors - History
Lectures - Speeches - Art history - Art criticism - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Prizes - Great Britain - 19th century