Joseph Gott in Leeds and Rome

Collections exhibition
9th December 2010 - 16th October 2011
Lower Sculpture Studies Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery

Installation view of Joseph Gott

From foreground to background:
Bust of William Gott, 1834.
Bust of Benjamin Gott, 1828-9
Bust of George Banks, c.1828
George Banks seated, c. 1828

Image courtesy of Leeds Museums & Galleries (Art Gallery)

Photo: George Booth

One hundred and fifty years ago, at the age of seventy-five, Joseph Gott (1785-1860) of Calverley, near Leeds, died in Rome. He first arrived in the city in 1822, armed with a letter of introduction from the painter Thomas Lawrence to the greatest living sculptor, Antonio Canova. He settled there, amongst other ambitious avant garde British sculptors, for whom Rome had become an artistic Mecca.

Gott maintained his early links with Leeds and visited the city several times throughout his career. Encouraged by the support of his relative Benjamin Gott, then the leading woollen manufacturer and art collector in Leeds, he attracted an enthusiastic Yorkshire clientele, who visited his studio in Rome, commissioned portraits and purchased other work.

This display, curated by Dr Terry Friedman, brings together sculptures by Joseph Gott in the Leeds collection, many of which were commissioned by Yorkshire families, as well as drawings, prints, books and archival material from local collections, which place the sculptor within the wider context of artistic events in Leeds and Rome.