(b Aberdeen, Dec 23, 1682; d London, Aug 5, 1754).
Gibbs was the younger son of an Aberdeen merchant, Patrick Gibb(s), and was brought up a Roman Catholic. He was educated at the Grammar School and at Marischal College in Aberdeen. Shortly before 1700 he left Scotland for the Netherlands, where he stayed with relatives before making his way through France to Italy, visiting Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Genoa and Naples. He arrived in Rome in the autumn of 1703 and registered at the Pontifical Scots College, apparently with the intention of training for the priesthood. Within a year, however, he left to become a pupil of Carlo Fontana, then the most influential architect in Rome. His father had suffered financial hardship as a result of the 1688 Revolution, so that Gibbs had to rely on the charity of friends for his income, probably supplementing it by guiding and drawing for British tourists.
These contacts with potential patrons proved useful when Gibbs arrived in London late in ...