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Edward Hodges Baily - British Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Edward Hodges Baily (1788 - 1867)

Edward Hodges Baily was born in Bristol and first studied under Flaxman before entering the Royal Academy. He was a prolific public sculptor having a piece in Trafalgar Square and Grey’s Monument in Newcastle. Baily also produced portrait busts and church monuments. Despite his successful career, Baily spent his earnings frivolously and died in bankruptcy.

His father, who was a celebrated carver of figureheads for ships, destined him for a commercial life, but even at school the boy showed his natural taste and talents by producing numerous wax models and busts of his schoolfellows. At the age of fourteen Baily was placed in a mercantile house, where he worked for the next two years, though he still felt a strong leaning towards his artistic abilities.

At the age of sixteen he abandoned his commercial career and began executing portraits in wax. Two Homeric studies, executed for a friend, were shown to John Flaxman, who bestowed on them such high commendation that in 1807 Baily came to London and placed himself as a pupil under the great sculptor. In 1809 he entered the Royal Academy Schools.

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