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image SC23

Henry Webber RA (1754 - 1826), sculptor

Oval bas relief of the ‘Judgement of Midas’, 1776


Museum number: SC23

Curatorial note

The earliest inventory of the Museum, 1837, notes ‘for this composition the Royal Academy adjudged Mr Webber the Gold Medal in the year 1776’. Webber won his prize in the same year that Soane won his own Gold Medal for Architecture at the RA. However, Soane did not acquire this cast of Webber's bas relief until many decades later, in the 1830s.

The oval panel is modelled in relief. In the centre is Pan with his pipes, on the right is seated the figure of Apollo with his lyre. Midas, with donkey’s ears, is seated on the left. Behind these figures, which are mostly in high relief, are attendant figures of nymphs and shepherds, mostly in low relief. A boy with a goat is seen behind Pan and Apollo and behind Apollo’s head rises a palm-tree. At the top of the composition is a giant figure of Jupiter reclining on a rocky eminence, presumably intended to represent Mount Olympus.The panel is framed with a spiral leaf-ornament.

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