We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

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, &c. Second Edition. To Which Are Now First Added, 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-Two Plates. -

John Flaxman RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden., MDCCCXXXVIII.

Physical Description

x, [6], 303, [1] p., frontis. (port.), 52 pl.; 217 mm. (Octavo.)


[Frontis., t.p.] - Advertisement (incl. Extracts from Sir Richard Westmacott's first lecture) - Contents - List Of Plates, Lithographed By Various Artists From Drawings By Mr. Flaxman - A Brief Memoir Of The Author - [Text]; [colophon] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

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

The List Of Plates states that they are 'Lithographed ... From Drawings By Mr Flaxman'. The plates are signed as (lithographed) by M. Denman, W. Walton, R.J. Lane, G. Childe, Giles, G. Scharfe, W. Sharpe, W. Fairland, T. Fairland, J. Lynch, H. Humphreys, H.C. Maguire and as printed by C. Hullmandel.

The text printer is named in the colophon: 'G. Norman, Printer, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden.'


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.


7 October 1839: RA Council passes resolution 'to purchase the Lectures of Flaxman ed[ited] by Sir R. Westmacott ...' (RA Council Minutes, IX, ).

Binding Note

19th-century half brown morocco, brown cloth-covered boards; spine lettered 'Flaxman's Lectures On Sculpture' and 'R.A.'

Name as Subject


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


Sir Richard Westmacott RA
Henry George Bohn, publisher
John Flaxman RA, source artist
Miss Maria Denman, lithographer
W.L. Walton, lithographer
Richard Lane ARA, lithographer
G. Childe, lithographer
John West Giles, lithographer
G. Scharfe, lithographer
Charles William Sharpe, lithographer
William Fairland, lithographer
Thomas Fairland, lithographer
James Henry Lynch, lithographer
Henry Noel Humphreys, lithographer
Charles Joseph Hullmandel, lithographic printer
H. C. Maguire, lithographer
George Norman, printer
Royal Academy of Arts (London) - Professor of Sculpture