Etching, 280 x 525mm. 11 x 20¾".
A bas-relief frieze or panel showing Confucius standing holding an open book of his teachings in a decorated oval, Chinoiserie motifs to either side. Confucius (551 - 479? BC) was the celebrated Chinese philosopher whose 'Analects' contain a collection of his sayings and dialogues compiled by disciples after his death. From a series of designs by Ralph Willett (1719 - 1795), book and art collector, as realised by William Collins (1721 - 1793), modeller and sculptor. Collins had a large practice during the last half of the eighteenth century as a modeller of friezes and bas-reliefs for chimneypieces, reredoses, &c. He was one of the first members of the St. Martin's Lane Academy, and a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and signed the roll declaration in 1765, being one of the first directors of that society. He contributed to the first exhibition in 1760, and continued to exhibit up to 1768. This design formed part of Willett's decorative scheme for the estate of Merly in Great Canford, Dorset, which he purchased in 1751. In 1772 he built two wings, that on the south-east being a library (adorned with fanciful designs in arabesques and frescoes) eighty-four feet long, twenty-three wide, and twenty-three high.
[Ref: 11849] £260.00