Charles Rossi RA (1762 - 1839)
RA Collection: People and Organisations
Charles Rossi, the son of an Italian immigrant, was born in Nottingham in 1762. He was apprenticed to the Italian sculptor G. B. Locatelli, completing his apprenticeship in 1781. That same year Rossi entered the Royal Academy Schools, where he won two medals. During this time, he began exhibiting at the Royal Academy. In 1785 Rossi was awarded a travelling scholarship which enabled him to live in Rome between 1786 and 1788.
Once back in England, Rossi worked briefly for the Derby china works (1788) and the clockmaker Vulialmy (1789) before establishing himself as a sculptor. The two large lions he sculpted for the west watergate of Somerset House (then the home of the RA) in 1790 served notice of his talent. In the 1790s he produced large works with the mason-sculptor John Bingley and executed church commissions, graduating to major commissions, including four government commissions for memorials to military heroes of the French wars for St Paul’s Cathedral. His work also incorporated portrait busts (two of which are in the RA collection) and decorative work for architectural projects.
Other artists were often critical of Rossi’s work, but he was highly successful – in 1797 he was appointed as sculptor to the Prince of Wales and subsequently as sculptor-in-ordinary to George IV and to William IV. Rossi’s 1804 bust of the prince regent was widely admired, and he later executed a frieze of The Seasons at Buckingham Palace. In 1802 he was elected as a Member of the Royal Academy, where he continued to exhibit until 1834. Rossi died at his London home in 1839.
Born: 8 March 1762 in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: 21 February 1839
RA Schools student from 29 March 1781
Elected ARA: 5 November 1798
Elected RA: 10 February 1802
Preferred media: Sculpture
Academic correspondence 1803, containing extracts, No. II., from a correspondence with the Academies of Vienna & St. Petersburg, on the present cultivation of the arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture; a summary report of the transactions of the Royal Academy of London, from the close of the Exhibition 1802, to the same period, 1803, and a description of public monuments, voted by the Parliament of Great Britain, to the memory of distinguished naval and military officers since the year 1798. Published by desire of the Academy, by Prince Hoare, Member of the Academie of Florence, and Cortona, and Secretary for Foreign Correspondence to the Royal Academy of London. - London: 1804
Academic annals of painting sculpture & architecture ; published by authority of the Royal Academy of Arts, 1805-6, 1807, 1808-9 ; collected and arranged by Prince Hoare, Secretary for Foreign Correspondence to The Royal Academy - London: 1809
T. L[awrence], to Joseph Farington
12 May 1811
[Thomas Lawrence], to [Joseph Farington]
[31 Jan 1809]
Foot of a letter signed by Charles Rossi
Thomas Stothard, 28 Newman Street, Oxford Road, to T. Hewitt Key M. A. and Henry Malden M. A., London University
Between 1831 and 1834