Legendary artist, sculptor, craftsman – and the greatest of decorative carvers in British history, Grinling Gibbons left an indelible mark on the cultural identity of the nation. He had an unequalled ability to transform solid, unyielding wood and stone into something truly ethereal.
His masterpieces adorn palaces, country houses, churches and museums around Britain, and his example has inspired craftsmanship and carving from his contemporaries to modern. His name is shorthand for ‘simply the best’.
Gibbons is a potent symbol of inspiration and achievement. He died on 3rd August 1721, and 2021 marks the tercentenary of his death. A national festival (August 2021-August 2022) and programme of events, projects and education is planned to celebrate his life and legacy. A major exhibition of his greatest works, and makers inspired by him, will be held at Bonhams New Bond Street, followed by Compton Verney.
‘stupendous and beyond all description… the incomparable carving of our Gibbons, who is without controversy the greatest master both for innovation and rareness of work that the world ever had in any age’.
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