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Edward Hodges Baily

Edward Hodges Baily




Edward Hodges Baily was a prominent English sculptor born on March 10, 1788, in Downend, near Bristol, and he passed away on May 22, 1867, in London. Baily's early life was marked by an interest in art, encouraged by his father, a carver and gilder. Showing a keen aptitude for sculpture, Baily was sent to London in 1807 to study under the esteemed sculptor John Flaxman at the Royal Academy Schools.

Baily's talent was quickly recognized, and he won the Academy's silver medal in 1809 for a model of "Hercules Resting from his Labours." This early success was followed by the gold medal in 1811 for his relief of "Apollo Discharging his Arrows among the Greeks." His professional career took off when he became an associate of the Royal Academy in 1817, followed by his election as a full academician in 1821.

Baily is perhaps best known for his large-scale public monuments and portrait sculptures. His most famous work is arguably the statue of Lord Nelson, which stands atop Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London. This commission came in 1839 and was completed in 1843. The statue, carved from Craigleith sandstone, stands 18 feet high and remains one of the most iconic images in London.

In addition to Nelson's Column, Baily created numerous other significant works. His sculptural contributions to St. Paul's Cathedral are notable, including the statues of John Howard and Dr. Samuel Johnson. He also produced a large number of funerary monuments, many of which are located in notable churches and cathedrals across England. These include monuments to important figures such as William Huskisson in Chichester Cathedral and Richard Lander in Truro Cathedral.

Baily's style was characterized by a classical approach, influenced heavily by his early training under Flaxman. His works often exhibited a refined elegance and a careful attention to detail, blending idealism with a naturalistic approach. This classical style was well-suited to the public and commemorative nature of his commissions, helping to cement his reputation as one of the leading sculptors of his time.

Despite his professional success, Baily's personal life was marked by challenges, including financial difficulties later in life. He continued to work and produce sculptures until his death in 1867. Baily's legacy endures through his contributions to public monuments and his influence on the development of British sculpture in the 19th century.

Baily's work remains an important part of British cultural heritage, reflecting the artistic standards and public values of his era. His sculptures are still admired for their technical skill and expressive quality, securing his place in the annals of British art history.


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Place of Birth: London, England



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Date of Birth: May 22, 1867

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