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Thomas Banks

Born: London, 22 December 1735
Died: London, 2 October 1810
Nationality: English

eldest son of William Banks, steward to the 4th Duke of Beaufort


Apprenticed to William Barlow, a mason and ornament carver; studio of Peter Scheemakers; life classes at St Martin’s Lane Academy.


1763 – awarded medal by the Society of Arts for Death of Epaminondas (untraced).

1769 – employed as assistant to Richard Hayward; exhibits at the Free Society of Artists

1770 – exhibits at Royal Academy, wins Gold Medal with Rape of Proserpine (untraced); first sculptor to be awarded RA’s stipend to Rome

1772 – travels to Rome; meets Heinrich Fuseli

1781 – exhibits Cupid at RA; travels to St Petersburg, sells Cupid to Catherine the Great, who commissions a statue of herself and a bas (low) relief titled Armed Neutrality (untraced)

1782 – begins focusing on commissioned monuments

1785 – RA full member (sculptor) with Falling Titan

-admired by Joshua Reynolds and John Flaxman

Commissions from: 

Catherine the Great; the East India Company

Important Artworks: 

Achilles Arming, 1770s (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Cupid, 1770s (Pavlovsk Palace, St Petersburg)

Sir Eyre Coote, 1789 (Westminster Abbey, London)

Captain Richard Burgess, 1802 (St Paul’s Cathedral, London) 

Captain Westcott, 1802-05 (St Paul’s Cathedral)