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Thomas Banks - British Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Thomas Banks (1735 - 1805)

English sculptor, Thomas Banks, was one of the most admired and serious of the British Neoclassical artists. Despite his talent, his work was not well received in the market and thus, Banks was less successful than his colleagues. He also trained under Peter Scheemaker as a mason and carver. Banks won a Royal Academy scholarship to study in Rome in 1772 and remained there for seven years. Returning to England with no further gain in reputation, Banks traveled to Russia but returned a year later because of the climate. Shifting his focus to church monuments and portrait busts rather than classical statues, Banks finally received more of the success he deserved.

He was taught drawing by his father, and in 1750 was apprenticed to a woodcarver. In his spare time he worked at sculpture, spending his evenings in the studio of the Flemish émigré sculptor Peter Scheemakers. Before 1772, when he obtained a travelling studentship given by the Royal Academy and proceeded to Rome, he had already exhibited several fine works.

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