Gibson, Solomon (DNB00)

GIBSON, SOLOMON (d. 1866), sculptor, younger brother of John Gibson, R.A. [q. v.], passed his life in Liverpool, where he practised as a sculptor. At the age of sixteen he modelled a small figure of Mercury, which is his best-known work. A copy of this he presented to Sir Thomas Lawrence, who sent him ‘as an encouragement’ a ten-pound note. John Kemble greatly admired this work, which he saw Gibson modelling. Lord Colborn bought a bronze cast of the figure from a curiosity dealer in Holland, and showed it to John Gibson as the work of an unknown genius, when to his great surprise Gibson informed him it was by his brother. Gibson was a man of eccentric character. Though well versed in the Greek and Latin classics, and with a good knowledge of ancient Welsh literature—on which subject he wrote many papers—‘there was an absence of purpose in the direction of his studies, and he passed through life a strange and useless though not a commonplace man.’ For many years he was dependent on the bounty of his brother. In January 1866, hearing of his brother's illness in Rome, he determined to go to see him, and set out, but only reached Paris, where he was taken ill and died three days afterwards, on 29 Jan.

[Eastlake's Life of John Gibson, R.A.; Memoir of Solomon Gibson by Joseph Mayer, F.S.A., manuscript in writer's possession; private information.]

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