Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

  • Pen, ink and wash
  • 7 ¼ × 6 ⅛ inches · 185 × 157 mm
  • Drawn c.1815
  • £3,500

Collections

  • John Postle Heseltine (1843-1929);
  • Charles F. Bell (1871-1966);
  • Private collection, UK to 2024

This refined drawing shows a design for a mural monument by John Flaxman. Whilst the composition represents Flaxman’s mastery of an elegant Neoclassical language of mourning, there are certain internal features which suggest that this drawing relates to Flaxman’s monument to George Sackville, 4th Duke of Dorset erected at Withyham, Sussex in 1819. 

The architectural design shows a marble monument, crowned with a triangular pediment, with acroteria at the corners and containing a roundel with a ducal coronet framed by laurel leaves. The central part of the monument contains two mourning female figures clutching an urn, with a clear tablet below for a dedicatory inscription, the whole white marble edifice set on a large dark marble step and surround. In the completed Dorset monument the form remains identical, with the substitution of a portrait of the deceased Duke for the ducal coronet and a single seated woman for the two mourning figures. According to Flaxman’s surviving account book the Dorset monument cost 500 guineas.

John Flaxman
Monument to George Sackville, 4th Duke of Dorset
St Michael and all Angels, Withyham, East Sussex