William Pitt, 1759 - 1806. Statesman
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William Pitt, 1759 - 1806. Statesman 1807
A great politician and statesman, William Pitt the Younger became Britain’s youngest Prime Minister at the age of twenty-four. Except for a short interval of three years, he remained in office until his death. During his leadership he dealt with problems of the expanding British Empire, the King’s mental illness and the effects of the French Revolution. After Pitt’s death, money was raised for a monument to be placed in the Senate House of the University of Cambridge, for which Pitt had been a Member of Parliament. The commission went to Nollekens, who worked from Pitt’s death mask and an oil portrait by John Hoppner to produce a full-length statue. Nollekens capitalised on the success of the statue by producing a series of 74 marble busts, of which this is a signed example.

Glossary Open

Bust

Sculpted portrait consisting of the head and the top of the shoulders.

Commission

When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.

Death Mask

A plaster or wax cast made of a person's face following death. In the seventeenth century, death masks were commonly used for the creation of portraits or as part of effigies. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they were also used to record features of corpses for identification.

Bust, Commission, Death Mask

Details

  • Acc. No. PG 1405
  • Medium Marble
  • Size Height: 71.80 cm
  • Credit Given by H.D. Molesworth 1941