(b York, July 6, 1755; d London, Dec 9, 1826).
English sculptor, designer and teacher. He was the most famous English Neo-classical sculptor of the late 18th century and the early 19th. He produced comparatively few statues and portrait busts but devoted himself to monumental sculpture and became noted for the piety and humanity of his church monuments. He also had an international reputation based on his outline illustrations to the works of Homer, Aeschylus and Dante, which led him to be described by Goethe as ‘the idol of all dilettanti’. More recently attention has focused on his models for pottery and silver, and he has emerged as an important pioneer in the development of industrial design.
Flaxman was the son of a plaster-cast maker employed by both Louis-François Roubiliac and Peter Scheemakers (ii), and at an early age he showed great promise as a sculptor, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1771–3. He had entered the Royal Academy Schools in ...