John Gibson Narcissus

John Gibson
Narcissus 1838

Royal Academy of Arts, London

Gibson sculpted several versions of the Greek mythological figure Narcissus, the beautiful young man who fell in love with his own reflection. The artist said that he was inspired by the sight of a boy at a fountain in Rome, ‘looking into the water… The action was perfect for a statue of Narcissus’. He claimed he ‘immediately went to his studio and modelled a small sketch in clay of the action which he had admired’.