Skip to main content

John Milton (1608-1674): M.2-1932

An image of Bust

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Colours in this image

Alternative views

Object information

Titles

John Milton (1608-1674)

Maker(s)

Rysbrack, John Michael (Maker)

Description

Bust. Terracotta. The sitter is turned front, facing and looking slightly right. He is bare-headed, and his hair is falling long over the shoulders. He is clean-shaven. The sitter wears a doublet, with wide, falling-band collar, and drapery passing over the right shoulder, and under the left arm. The bust terminates in a low square base, inscribed on the front 'MILTON'.

Notes

History note: Formerly in the collection of Sir Edward Littleton, Bart., who bought it from Rysbrack for his new house, Teddesley Park, Staffordshire, 1757; it remained there until removed to London by Lord Hatherton, a collateral descendant, in 1931; exh. Messrs Spink's, London and bought through them from Lord Hatherton, 1932.

Legal notes

Bought with the Anne J. Pertz Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 60 cm
Height: 23 1/2 in

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1932) by Hatherton, Lord

Dating

Second quarter of 18th century
George II
Production date: AD 1738 : dated 1738

Note

Based in London from 1720, Antwerp-born Rysbrack made several busts of Milton, the first in 1728 for the ‘Temple of British Worthies’ at Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. There is also a marble example in Westminster Abbey. This terracotta bust was made in 1738 for the architect William Benson (1682–1754), as the model for a subsequent version in marble. Rysbrack kept the terracotta and sold it in 1757 to Sir Edward Littleton. It was displayed in Littleton’s newly-built family seat, Teddesley Hall, Staffordshire, together with the bust of Alexander Pope (M.3-1932).

Milton was a famous 17th-century English poet, famed for his epic Paradise Lost (1667). His portrait was frequently included in sculpted groups of writers, commissioned by 18th-century English aristocrats in imitation of ancient Greek and Roman practice.

The design is based directly on the ad vivum engraving by William Faithorne of 1670.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Terracotta

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: MILTON
  • Location: On front of base
  • Method of creation: Inscribed

Inscription present: signed and dated

  • Text: Mich: Rysbrack/1738
  • Location: At back
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.2-1932
Primary reference Number: 29741
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_2_1932
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 12 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "John Milton (1608-1674)" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/29741 Accessed: 2022-06-28 02:04:09

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/29741 |title=John Milton (1608-1674) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-28 02:04:09|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

                <div class="text-center my-3">
                    <figure class="figure">
                        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa37/M_2_1932_1_201010_adn21_dc2.jpg"
                        alt="John Milton (1608-1674)"
                        class="img-fluid" />
                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">John Milton (1608-1674)</figcaption>
                    </figure>
                </div>
            

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

John Milton

Accession Number: P.44-2014

John Milton (1608-74)

Accession Number: C.108-1932

John Milton

Accession Number: P.9304-R

One of two French feudal medieval coins

Accession Number: CM.1674-2003

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...