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Joseph Nollekens

Castor and Pollux; copy of an
antique statue by Joseph Nollekens,
Victoria and Albert Museum.

Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823) was a sculptor from London, England generally considered to be the finest British sculptor of the late 18th century.

He studied first under Peter Scheemakers before studying and working as an antiques dealer, restorer and copier in Rome from 1759 to 1770. Returning to England he became one of the most fashionable portrait sculptors in the country.

Nollekens enjoyed the patronage of George III and went on to sculpt a number of British political figures, including George III himself, William Pitt the Younger, Charles James Fox, and Charles Watson-Wentworth. He also made busts of a number of figures from the arts such as Laurence Sterne and Benjamin West. Additionally, he made a large number of tombs.

Nollekens died in London, having made a fortune from his work. A notorious miser, he left around 200,000 in his will.