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John Gibson RA, Christ blessing little Children

Christ blessing little Children, 1862-1864

John Gibson RA (1790 - 1866)

RA Collection: Art

Executed late in his career, the subject of Christ blessing little Children was an unusual one for a classicist such as Gibson. This is a model for the marble relief executed for Mrs Sandbach (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). Gibson wrote to her:

‘When I began to model the head of Christ, the fear of failing came over me. I had to express the Divine within, perceived through outward form – the form of man – elevated, beautiful, and benevolent.’

Although the subject is derived from the New Testament, Lady Eastlake noted that the

‘naked boy resisting his mother’s efforts to bring him to the Saviour belongs to Gibson’s Grecian part, and would have been in place in an antique precession.’

She also observed that the sculptor introduced himself (right) and Mr. Sandbach in the features of two of the male figures. (Lady Eastlake, 1870, pp. 238-239)

Object details

Christ blessing little Children
John Gibson RA (1790 - 1866)
Object type
Plaster relief

978 mm x 2178 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Bequeathed by John Gibson RA 1866
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