About this artwork

Following his visit to Paris in 1792, James Maitland became an impassioned supporter of the French Revolution. On his return to Britain, he became the leader of Whig opposition in Scotland. He founded the 'Friends of the People' and was alleged to have appeared in 'the rough costume of Jacobinism' in the House of Lords. This marble bust suggests the lively mind and deep convictions of the man known as 'Citizen Maitland'. Much later in life, he made a political u-turn and became a no less impassioned Tory.

Joseph Nollekens

Joseph Nollekens

Joseph Nollekens was the son of a Flemish painter who had settled in London. He was apprentice and assistant to the sculptor Peter Scheemakers. In 1761 he went to Italy where he spent nine years, mainly in Rome. He learnt to restore and copy antique statues and these objects were very popular with Grand Tourists as were his portrait busts; he also worked as a dealer. On his return to London, he became the leading sculptor of the day. He achieved lasting notoriety through his pupil, J.T.Smith's famous biography of 1828 'Nollekens and his Times' which painted a picture of the sculptor as a miserly, grasping character.