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Thomas Banks (1735 - 1805), sculptor

Model for ‘The dying patriot’


Museum number: M1106

Curatorial note

There is a closely related terracotta model in the Victoria and Albert Museum recorded as by Banks but recently re-attributed (the new attribution is desribed as 'uncertain but plausible') to the Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel (1740-1814), who was also working in Rome in the 1770s (V&A Museum no. A.11-1963). The two sculptors worked in a similar manner.

The V&A terracotta could be one of those executed in Rome (Banks was there from 1772-79), which remained in his studio after his death. His daughter Lavinia Forster wrote, 'All the terracottas were models made by my father in Italy, and are valuable to me' [Bell, 1938, p. 196].

The subject matter of the dying hero was one used by Banks in a number of works.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Soane records that 'This model was presented to me by Dr Pugh, to whom it had been sent by Mrs Banks, in exchange for a bust of her deceased husband'. It was in Soane's collection by 1822 when it appears in a showcase on the north windowsill of the Library in a watercolour view by Joseph Michael Gandy SM P86. By 1825 it had been moved to a new position on top of the bookcases on the east side of Library where it is shown in a watercolour view dated Oct 29th 1825 SM Vol.82/8.


Sir J. Soane, Description, 1835, p.34

Exhibition history

Thomas Banks 1735-1805: Britain's First Modern Sculptor, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 21 January - 9 April 2005

Associated objects

XF338, stand

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk