E.H. Bailey (1788-1867)
Bust of Thomas Bewick (1826)
50.0 cm x 68.0 cm
Edward Hodges Bailey created the life mask for this plaster copy of Thomas Bewick at the engraver's home in West Street, Gateshead in 1825. Bewick is said to have reclined on a couch with small pieces of hollow quill (the shaft of a feather) in his nostrils to enable him to breathe as the work was undertaken. The rather prominent under-lip is accounted for by the fact that, according to a contemporary, he usually kept a lump of tobacco there! He rebelled against Bailey's wishes to drape his shoulders in a Classical style. He insisted that he wanted to appear 'in his habit - as he lived' and so he is shown in his usual eighteenth-century dress. His daughter, Jane, considered the bust to be better than any engraved portrait of her father. The original marble bust is in the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle.
Find out more about: Thomas Bewick