BANKS, Thomas
(b. 1735, London, d. 1805, London)

Monument to Captain Richard Rundle Burges

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

About 1770, sculptors firmly bound to the classical ideal began to emerge. The taste for heroic Classicism encouraged a more severe and historical style. The English sculptor Thomas Banks was preeminent among its proponents. On his return to England from Rome, where he had a considerable success, Banks continued to produce nude, heroic dramas that were well received by the Royal Academy, but his career centred on the production of less severe funerary monuments. Late in his career, the wars with France provided him with the chance of combining the two. He was commissioned to carve two of the monuments commemorating military officers fallen in the wars with France that were being erected in St Paul's Cathedral in London. The resultant mixture of nudity with portraiture is striking.

Richard Rundle Burgess (c. 1755-1797) was a naval officer.