Allegorical figure of Historia
John Michael Rysbrack (English (born in Belgium), 1695–1760)
Overall: 48 x 30.5 x 26.4 cm (18 7/8 x 12 x 10 3/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries (Gallery 241)
This terra cotta representing History was a model for one of two allegorical figures on a proposed funerary monument for John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Greenwich; it appears on a highly finished drawing for the project. One of the most successful sculptors working in England in the mid-eighteenth century, Rysbrack had executed portrait busts of both the duke and duchess of Argyll, and he hoped to obtain the commission for the duke’s tomb in Westminster Abbey. In the end, however, the work was awarded to Rysbrack’s emerging rival, French sculptor Louis-François Roubilliac.
Signed and dated: Michael Rysbrack 1744.
January 24-25, 1766, possibly in the posthumous Rysbrack sale, Langford and Sons, London, lot 71 [see note 1]. Private collection, Switzerland; March 19, 1997, anonymous (Swiss private collector) sale, Koller, Zürich, lot 505, to Alex Wengraf Ltd., London; 1997, sold by Alex Wengraf to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 17, 1997)
 According to information provided by Wengraf (after research by Katharine Eustace) at the time the sculpture was acquired. Lot 71 in the artist's sale was "A [figure] of History."
Mary S. and Edward Jackson Holmes Fund