John Flaxman (British, 1755-1826) Two drawings
Lot 83*
John Flaxman (British, 1755-1826) Two illustrations for Pope's Iliad - 'Then sleep by death, two twins of winged race/Of matchless swiftness but of silent pace,/Receiv'd Sarpedon, of the god's commands/And in a moment reach'd the Ayrian land;.Pope's Il:B:16:I:831'; and 'I shot from heav'n and gave his arm the day/B:8:I:444: Pope's Iliad'
Sold for £3,600 (US$ 6,044) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
John Flaxman (British, 1755-1826)
Two illustrations for Pope's Iliad - 'Then sleep by death, two twins of winged race/Of matchless swiftness but of silent pace,/Receiv'd Sarpedon, of the god's commands/And in a moment reach'd the Ayrian land;.Pope's Il:B:16:I:831'; and 'I shot from heav'n and gave his arm the day/B:8:I:444: Pope's Iliad'
pen and ink over pencil, unframed
each 22.2 x 28.6cm x 11 1/4in).
(2)

Footnotes

  • The present works, unpublished designs for Pope's Iliad, are fine examples of Flaxman's designs for line engravings. These classically inspired outline drawings were amongst the most celebrated of Flaxman's works in his own time.

    The illustrations for Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were commissioned by Mrs Hare-Naylor who lived in Rome. There were other patrons based in Rome who were keen to commission illustrations for Homer and Dante. It was this demand for Flaxman's style of linear draughtsmanship that encouraged him to continue with such an extensive project. He did not see these illustrations as finished works of art but more as the basis for compositions upon which sculptures could be designed. This predominance of sculpture as his more serious outlet allowed Flaxman great freedom in suffusing his outline drawings with great humour, expression and simplicity. This links them not only with Greek vase decoration and the Roman equivalents he would have been so familiar with from his studies in Rome, but also with the drawings of his contemporaries such as William Blake and George Romney.
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