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John Flaxman (1755 - 1826), sculptor
Bust of William Pitt
Museum number: SC24
This bust is associated with John Flaxman’s designs for a monument to Pitt, see M1087. Soane chose to acquire two figures of Pitt and this bust when he had the chance to acquire items from John Flaxman’s collections. Soane owed much to the Pitt family as his youthful meeting with Thomas Pitt (cousin of William Pitt) in Rome had led later to his nomination for the post of Architect to the Bank of England, the job which he later described as ‘the pride and boast of my life’. Soane was sympathetic to Pitt’s Whig politics but also wished his museum to enshrine the memory of the most celebrated of his contempories.
Helen Dorey ‘Soane and Flaxman’ in Flaxman: Master of the Purest Line, Exhibition Catalogue, Sir John Soane’s Museum 2003
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