GIBSON, John (1791 - 1866)
Size: 172.8 cm
Acquired: 1993; Purchase; with assistance of the Art Fund
Accession Number: NMW A 2527
Henry Sandbach, a Liverpool merchant, visited Rome in 1838. There his wife Margaret, a granddaughter of William Roscoe, the Liverpool collector and early patron of Gibson, became a close friend of the sculptor. The Sandbach family later built a gallery in their new house, Hafodunos, to display their Gibson sculpture. In 1842 Henry Sandbach commissioned this figure for his wife. Gibson describes it thus 'behold the harbinger of the day, Aurora, goddess of the morning,...just risen from the Ocean with the bright star of Lucifer glittering over her brow - one foot on the waves, the other softly touching the earth.. ...She is clad in a rich and most transparent vest, her delicate limbs are unrestrained and free;...Aurora has filled the two vases which she carries in her soft hands with pure dew from the sea, and as she moves onwards with swift wings- she casts a serene and dignified glance over the universe and scatters the pearly drops over the earth whereby the flowers are refreshed and expand the morning sun'.