Wyatt, Richard James (DNB00)

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WYATT, RICHARD JAMES (1795–1850), sculptor, son of Edward Wyatt (1757–1833), a well-known carver and gilder of Oxford Street, by his wife Anne Madox, and cousin of Matthew Cotes Wyatt [q. v.], was born in Oxford Street, London, on 3 May 1795. He studied in the school of the Royal Academy, where he gained two medals, and served his apprenticeship with John Charles Felix Rossi [q. v.] In 1818 he exhibited at the academy a ‘Judgment of Paris,’ and in 1819 a monument to Lady Anne Hudson; other early memorial works by him are in Esher church and St. John's Wood chapel. When Canova visited this country Wyatt was brought under his notice by Sir Thomas Lawrence [q. v.], and received from him an invitation to Rome. He left England early in 1821, and, after studying for a few months in Paris under Bosio, proceeded to Rome, and entered the studio of Canova, where he had John Gibson (1790–1866) [q. v.] as a fellow pupil. Settling permanently in Rome, Wyatt practised his profession there with great enthusiasm and success, and from 1831 until his death was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy. Among his best works were ‘Ino and the Infant Bacchus,’ ‘Girl at the Bath,’ ‘Musidora’ (at Chatsworth), and ‘Penelope,’ ‘The Huntress,’ and ‘Flora’ (all in the royal collection). Several of these have been engraved for the ‘Art Journal.’ The ‘Penelope’ was a commission given by the queen to Wyatt at the time of his only visit to England in 1841. His whole life was otherwise passed in Rome, where he died, unmarried, on 29 May 1850, and was buried in the protestant cemetery. Some of his works were shown at the London exhibition of 1851, and were awarded a gold medal. Wyatt was a highly accomplished artist, particularly excelling in his female figures, which in purity of form and beauty of line rivalled those of his master Canova. A woodcut portrait, from a drawing by S. Pearce, accompanies a memoir of him in the ‘Art Journal,’ 1850.

[Art Journal, Aug. 1850; Gent. Mag. 1850, ii. 99; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Royal Academy catalogues.]

F. M. O'D.