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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770), Sculptor

Sculptor; second son of Peeter Rysbrack, landscape painter and etcher of Antwerp; studied under Van der Voort; came to England, 1720; employed by James Gibbs, the architect (q.v.) with whom he continued to collaborate after he himself had won recognition; in a working life spanning some fifty years his considerable output included busts of important sitters such as Gibbs, Pope, George II (q.v.) and statues, from history as well as life, decorative sculpture such as the chimney-piece in the Foundling Hospital, restoration of antiques and monuments to, among others, Gay and Newton in Westminster Abbey.

On a visit shortly before the sitter's death, Charles Rogers described him as ‘... of a middle Stature, fleshy, but not fat; towards the latter part of his life his head was considerably bowed down to his breast, & he was rendered very unwieldy by his dropsical disorder'. [1]

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1) M. I. Webb, Michael Rysbrack Sculptor, 1954, p 191, citing Prints in Imitation of Drawings, 1778.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.