John Bacon
Sickness 1778

Artwork details

John Bacon 1740–1799
Date 1778
Medium Marble
Dimensions Object: 584 x 368 x 250 mm
The Royal Academy of Arts, London
On short term loan
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1780

Display caption

Bacon was one of the most prolific and successful sculptors of his day. He was particularly esteemed for monuments, including one to the philanthropist Thomas Guy, for Guy’s Hospital (where it can still be seen). This bust was developed from the head of a cadaverous figure who is depicted in that monument, being helped to his feet by Guy. Bacon presented the bust to the Royal Academy when he was elected an Academician in 1778. Its fine bone structure and taut skin convey illness. So too, perhaps, does the surface of the marble which is unpolished and slightly weathered in appearance.

February 2016

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