Edward Hodges Baily RA (1788 - 1867)
RA Collection: People and Organisations
The sculptor and silver designer Edward Hodges Baily was born in Bristol, and was introduced to sculpture through his friendship with a local artist. He began modelling in clay and was recommended to the celebrated sculptor John Flaxman, in whose studio he worked for seven years.
Baily was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1809, shortly before his twenty-first birthday, and received medals for modelling and sculpture in his time there. In 1817 Baily was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy (ahead of John Constable). Election as a full Member followed in 1821 and Baily’s Diploma Work given to the RA was a bust of his mentor Flaxman.
Amongst Baily’s major works were designs for John Nash’s enlargement of Buckingham House, and a prodigious quantity of public sculpture including the statue of Lord Nelson at Trafalgar Square. Like several other sculptors engaging with ambitious public projects Baily was led to declare bankruptcy over failure to obtain payment for his work, and for many years his financial situation was precarious.
In addition to his sculpture, Baily worked as a designer and modeller throughout his career with goldsmiths and silversmiths, interpreting other artists’ designs. Baily was highly regarded by critics, patrons and students as an exponent of idealised sculpture, but by the time of his death in 1867 younger sculptors were pioneering the New Sculpture of the late Victorian period which rejected classicism in favour of a new realism.
Born: 10 March 1788 in Bristol, Avon, England, United Kingdom
Died: 22 May 1867
RA Schools student from 8 March 1809
Elected ARA: 3 November 1817
Elected RA: 10 February 1821
Retired: 01 Dec 1862
Preferred media: Sculpture