John Deare

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Venus Reclining on a Sea Monster with Cupid and a Putto

John Deare (26 October 1759, Liverpool – 17 August 1798, Rome) was a British neo-classical sculptor. His nephew Joseph (1803–1835) was also a sculptor.


Born to a jeweller in Liverpool, John Deare enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools in 1777, where he won a gold medal for a Miltonic subject (1780). Meanwhile he also served an apprenticeship to the London carver Thomas Carter from 1776 to 1783, when he completed it and began sculpting as a freelancer, especially for his old master as well as for John Bacon (whose work he admired) and John Cheere. Independent commissions included the reliefs The War of Jupiter and the Titans in plaster for Whitton Park's pediment and The Good Samaritan (post-1782) for the Liverpool Dispensary. Deare was himself admired by his contemporaries, particularly by Joseph Nollekens. However, his only surviving early works are those he produced to be made in ceramic by Derby for clocks by Benjamin Vulliamy.

The Royal Academy gave him a pension for a three-year stay in Rome (on the condition he sent back a work to the RA's annual exhibition), starting in 1785, where he starting drawing the classical sculpture collections at (among others) the Villa Albani and the Capitoline Museums, probably joined the Adamiani sect (insisting God be worshipped naked) and set up an artistic circle including Robert Fagan, Charles Grignion the Younger, Samuel Woodforde and George Cumberland. For his exhibition piece he modelled in plaster The Judgement of Jupiter (with over 20 figures and emulating history painting of the time, it was the largest 18th-century relief by a British artist) but the Academy argued with him over its size and it was not sent to London (a marble version, commissioned by Sir Richard Worsley in 1788, is now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art). His next relief was Edward and Eleanor (drawn from a play by James Thomson). He also acted as an agent for Thomas Hope and the earl of Bristol in their acquisition of works by his friend John Flaxman and for Henry Blundell and John Latouche in acquiring works by Canova (all four of whom also bought works by Deare), and also financed himself on the expiry of his pension by carving copies of classical sculptures for British Grand Tourists, by restoring classical sculptures for collectors and by producing chimneypieces for patrons that included one at Frogmore House for the Prince of Wales (employing Joseph Gandy and other architects for the latter purpose).

By his death in Rome in 1798 (after sleeping on a block of marble hoping for inspiration and catching a chill) Deare had married an Italian woman, who he left with their children as a widow and for whose benefit Deare's friends such as Vincenzo Pacetti and Christopher Hewetson posthumously disposed of his studio contents. Three days after his death he was buried in Rome's Protestant Cemetery.


  • The Judgement of Jupiter
  • Edward and Eleanor (1786, marble version of 1790 for Sir Corbet Corbet now in a private collection).
  • Marine Venus, marble relief, purchased in 1787 by Sir Cecil Bisshop for Parham Park, Sussex, drawing on classical and 16th century Mannerist sculpture
  • Cupid and Psyche, marble (1791) for Thomas Hope (plaster version, Lyons House, co. Kildare)
  • The Landing of Julius Caesar in Britain (1791–4; V&A Museum, formerly Stoke Park Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire), the subject chosen by its commissioner John Penn
  • Portrait bust of John Penn (Eton College).

Classical copies[edit]

  • Apollo Belvedere, commissioned in 1792 for Attingham by Lord Berwick
  • Faun with a Kid (Prado Museum, Madrid), acquired by Lord Cloncurry (private collection)
  • Bust of Ariadne (c.1789, now in the Capitoline Museum, Rome), for John Latouche

External links[edit]