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Sappho, by John Gibson RA | by Peter Denton
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Sappho, by John Gibson RA

John Gibson RA (1790-1866) sculpted Sappho in 1834. This elegant plaster work stands alongside Narcissus in the Royal Academy, London.


Elizabeth, Lady Eastlake – a notable art critic who edited his biography in 1870 – described Gibson as “serene and temperate”, and remarked upon his “negative indifference to gain” and his “positive generosity”. He left all his property and the contents of his studio, including Sappho and Narcissus, to the Royal Academy. When I visited the RA the other day, the sunlight cast a perfect shadow to complement Gibson's two creations.

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Taken on August 14, 2012