GIBSON, John
(b. 1790, Conway, d. 1866, Roma)

The 'Tinted Venus'

1851-56
Marble with slight pigmentation, height 175 cm
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Alongside to the new classicism at the end of the eighteenth century came a passionate concern with exact naturalistic representation in every field of art. An art which was so very much an imitation, whether of nature or of another epoch, naturally discouraged individuality among artists, and this uniformity appeared as much in the work of those at the top as in that of the hundreds of their followers. They formed the taste in sculpture, and this taste was to continue in the academies and dominated the graveyards right through the nineteenth century. Gibson's Tinted Venus is an illustration of its strong persistence.