other of his early works, bear the name of Francis. At Liverpool he attended Dr. Vose's lectures on anatomy, and had access to Allerton and the collections of Roscoe, whose advice that ‘the Greek statue is nature in the abstract’ appears to have permanently influenced his art. Solomon D'Aguilar, his wife and his daughters, Mrs. Lawrence, and Mrs. Robinson were also very kind to him. Mrs. Robinson devoted herself to improving his mind, and was a constant friend and correspondent till her death in 1829. Through the D'Aguilars Gibson was introduced to John Kemble, who sat to him for a small bust, the only one ever taken of the actor. In 1816 he commenced to exhibit at the Royal Academy, sending two busts (one of H. Park, esq.), and ‘Psyche borne by Zephyrs’ (this is called a drawing in Redgrave's ‘Dictionary,’ but it is catalogued among the sculpture, and it is recorded in his life that Flaxman, who did not know Gibson, placed it in a good light). His last work in Liverpool was a mantelpiece for Sir John Gladstone, the father of Mr. W. E. Gladstone.
Gibson came to London in 1817, with introductions to Christie, the auctioneer, and to Brougham. Christie introduced him to Watson Taylor, who commissioned the bust of Roscoe, now in the Liverpool Institution, and busts of all his family, from himself and his wife down to the baby, ‘a little thing with no shape at all.’ Busts of two Master Watson Taylors were exhibited in 1817, the artist's address being still given as Liverpool in the Royal Academy Catalogue. A bust of Watson Taylor was exhibited in 1819.
Gibson had dreamed that he was carried by an eagle to Rome, and to Rome he determined to go, ‘if he went there on foot.’ He went thither, taking his unfinished bust of Roscoe with him, but not before he had been introduced to Fuseli, West, Flaxman, Blake, and Chantrey. He arrived on 20 Oct. 1817 in Rome, where he was received by Canova in the most generous manner. ‘I am rich,’ said the famous sculptor, ‘I am anxious to be of use to you in your art as long as you stay in Rome.’ From Canova he received his first instruction in the art of sculpture, working in the Italian's studio, and afterwards under him in the academy of St. Luke's. He also received instruction from Thorwaldsen, then living at Rome. He was at once admitted to the intimate society of these eminent sculptors, and naturally formed a high estimate of the advantage to a sculptor of a residence in Rome as the artistic capital of the world. His first original work in Rome was a ‘Sleeping Shepherd,’ life size, and his first commission was for the group of ‘Mars and Cupid’ now at Chatsworth. So inexperienced was he at this time (1819) that he asked the Duke of Devonshire only 500l. for it, though it cost the artist 520l. before it was finished in marble. To the years 1821–2 belong the ‘Psyche and Zephyrs,’ executed for Sir George Beaumont (for which he more wisely asked 900l.), and a bas-relief of ‘Hero and Leander’ for the Duke of Devonshire. In 1824 he executed his figure of ‘Paris’ for Watson Taylor, and the ‘Sleeping Shepherd Boy’ for Lord George Cavendish. ‘Hylas and the Nymphs’ was ordered by Mr. Hyland in 1826, and transferred to Mr. Vernon, who left it to the nation. In the winter of the same year Sir Watkin Williams Wynn ordered the figure of ‘Cupid drawing his Bow,’ and in the following year the ‘Psyche and Zephyrs’ was at the Royal Academy, but Sir George Beaumont, who had ordered it, was dead. As Flaxman was also dead, and Chantrey rich and lazy, Gibson was again urged to go to London and ‘make his fortune,’ but he resolved to stay where he could do the best work without regard to fortune. He did not even visit England till 1844.
From 1827 to 1844 Gibson executed among other works a ‘Nymph untying her Sandal,’ for Lord Yarborough (exhibited 1831); a seated statue of Dudley North, his first portrait statue; ‘Cupid disguised as a Shepherd’ (exhibited 1837), for Sir John Johnstone, a very pretty figure, which was repeated eight times; ‘Cupid tormenting the Soul’ (exhibited 1839), for Lord Selsey, which he looked upon as one of his best works. He was persuaded that the god appeared to him and directed him to colour the statue. It was repeated for Mr. Yates and Mr. Holford, and the latter repetition was tinted. In 1833 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and in 1838 a full member. In 1838 Mr. Henry Sandbach, with his wife, the granddaughter of William Roscoe, went to Rome. Mrs. Sandbach formed with him an elevating friendship, which lasted till her death in 1854. For her husband he executed his ‘Hunter and Dog,’ his most vigorous work ‘in the round,’ and ‘Aurora’ (exhibited 1847). For the ‘Hunter’ he had a very fine model ‘in the prime of youth,’ but in addition ‘went often to study the casts from the Elgin marbles.’
When Gibson came to London in 1844, he disapproved of the place inside the custom house at Liverpool, where it was proposed to place his colossal statue of Huskisson which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in that year. A previous statue of Huskisson in marble had been erected in the cemetery, and