Read, Nicholas (DNB00)

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READ, NICHOLAS (d. 1787), sculptor, was a pupil of Louis François Roubiliac [q. v.], whose extravagant style he imitated. He is said to have cut the skeleton figure of Death on the Nightingale monument in Westminster Abbey. On his master's death in 1762, Read succeeded to his studio at 65 St. Martin's Lane. In 1762 he gained a premium of a hundred guineas from the Society of Arts for a statue of Actæon with a hound; in 1763 he exhibited a medallion of Sir Isaac Newton. In 1764 he gained the society's first premium of 140 guineas for a marble statue of Diana. His monument to Rear-admiral Tyrrell (1766) in the south aisle of Westminster Abbey is one of the most tasteless groups of sculpture in the building (cf. Gent. Mag. 1818, i. 597 n.) In 1779 he sent to the exhibition of the Free Society of Artists a pretentious allegorical design for a monument to Chatham, whom he represented standing between Learning and Eloquence on a sarcophagus supported by History. He exhibited again in 1780, but towards the end of his life he lost his reason, which had been impaired for some years. He died at his house in St. Martin's Lane on 11 July 1787.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Exhibition Catalogues (Soc. of Arts and Free Soc. of Artists); Gent. Mag. 1787 pt. ii. p. 644; Dossie's Memoirs, 1782, iii. 440.]

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