Joseph Gott’s Greyhound with Puppies is a fine example of the neoclassical style of sculpture that flourished across Europe from the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries.

Gott trained in London under the sculptor John Flaxman and later at the Royal Academy Schools. He regularly exhibited at the RA and gained the support of its president, Thomas Lawrence. In 1822 Lawrence provided Gott with the funds to travel to Rome, the city that became his home for the rest of his life.

In Rome, Gott became part of an international community of artists who took inspiration from the works of antiquity on display there. His repertoire was broad, with portrait busts, funeral monuments and medallions among his works. But he was particularly known for his small groups of domestic animals. Among his celebrated pieces is Greyhound with her Two Puppies Suckling, which he made for the 6th Duke of Devonshire in 1823-24. Greyhound with Puppies is thought to have been carved soon after this date.

It now joins the Barber Institute of Fine Arts’ small but important collection of sculpture, which extends in range from the Ancient Greek Head of Aphrodite of the 4th century BCE, to Jean Arp’s Homme vu par une fleur of 1958.


With William Agnew; sold 1998 to William Gronow Davies; sold 2016 Dukes Auction House, Dorchester; Tomasso Brothers

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