Gibson moved in 1817 to London where he obtained commissions from Watson Taylor and where he met some of the leading sculptors of the day. In Oct. 1817 he arrived at Rome , where he studied the art of sculpture under Canova and Thorwaldsen , and carried out commissions for the duke of Devonshire , Sir George Beaumont , Sir Watkin Williams Wynn , and other leading art patrons of the period. Most of the remainder of his life was spent at Rome , although he visited England in 1844 in connection with the erection of his statue of Huskisson at Liverpool , and again in 1850 and 1851 to model the statue of the queen , and subsequently in 1855 . His work was strongly influenced by classical tradition and by the Greeks , even to colouring his sculpture, and his most famous work, ‘ The Tinted Venus ,’ and two other tinted statues occasioned considerable discussion when they were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1862 . Gibson was elected A.R.A. in 1833 and R.A. in 1835 ; he exhibited thirty-three works at the Royal Academy between 1816 and 1864 . After several years of ill health he d. at Rome 27 Jan. 1866 and was buried in the English cemetery there.
He executed a large number of busts and figures, but most of his work was based on classical themes. He bequeathed the contents of his studio to the Royal Academy ; examples of his work are also to be found in private collections and many are in public ownership. The N.L.W. has three manuscript volumes containing a large number of his autograph letters and about a hundred original sketches by him.
Megan Ellis, (1906-2001), Aberystwyth
Published date: 1959