Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/81

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Rysbrack came to England in 1720, and at first gained a reputation for modelling small figures in clay. Afterwards he executed a few portrait-busts, which brought him into notice, and he obtained employment on monuments from James Gibbs [q. v.] and William Kent [q. v.], the architects. Not being satisfied with their treatment of him, Rysbrack began an independent practice, and quickly became the most fashionable sculptor of his day. He was very industrious and did much to introduce something of simplicity and good taste into the rather oppressive style which prevailed in monumental sculpture. Among the principal monuments executed by him are those in Westminster Abbey of Sir Isaac Newton (designed by Kent), the Duke of Newcastle, Matthew Prior, Earl Stanhope, Admiral Vernon, Sir Godfrey Kneller (designed by himself), Mrs. Oldfield (designed by Kent); in Worcester Cathedral Bishop Hough; in Salisbury Cathedral, the Duke and Duchess of Somerset; at Blenheim the Duke of Marlborough. Among the statues executed by him were the bronze equestrian statue of William III at Bristol, the statues of the Duke of Somerset at Cambridge, John Locke at Oxford, George I and George II for the Royal Exchange. As a sculptor of portrait busts Rysbrack has seldom if ever been excelled. Nearly all the leading men of his time sat to him, including Pope, Walpole, Sir Hans Sloane, Gibbs, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, Martin Folkes, and many others. When his supremacy was shaken by the growing popularity of Scheemakers and Roubiliac, Rysbrack produced three important portrait statues of Palladio, Inigo Jones, and Fiammingo, which were placed in the Duke of Devonshire's villa at at Chiswick. At the same time he executed a large statue of Hercules, which was compiled from the Farnese Hercules and studies made from noted pugilists and athletes of the time; it was purchased by Mr. Hoare of Stourhead, Wiltshire, who built a temple there on purpose to receive it. Besides his merits as a sculptor, Rysbrack was also an accomplished draughtsman, and executed many hundreds of highly finished drawings in bistre, all in the manner of the great Italian artists. In 1765 he retired from business, and sold part of his collection of models and drawings; other sales followed in 1767 and 1770. Rysbrack resided for many years in Vere Street, Oxford Street, where he died on 8 Jan. 1770; he was buried in Marylebone churchyard. A portrait of Rysbrack was painted by J. Vanderbank.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting (ed. Wornum); Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; J. T. Smith's Nollekens and his Times; Rombouts and Van Lerius's Liggeren der Antwerpsche Sint Lucasgilde.]

L. C.

RYTHER, AUGUSTINE (fl. 1576–1590), engraver, one of the earliest English exponents of the art of engraving on copper, was a native of Leeds in Yorkshire, and a fellow-townsman of Christopher Saxton [q. v.] He was probably an offshoot of the old and knightly family of Ryther in Yorkshire. Ryther was associated with Saxton in engraving some of the famous maps of the counties of England published by Saxton in 1579. His name appears as the engraver of the maps of Durham and Westmoreland (1576), Gloucester and York (1577), and that of the whole of England, signed ‘Augustinus Ryther Anglus Sculpsit Ano Dñi 1579.’ His name appears in 1588 with those of Jodocus Hondius [q. v.], Theodore de Bry, and others, among the engravers of the charts to ‘The Mariner's Mirrour … first made and set fourth in divers exact sea charts by that famous nauigator Luke Wagenar of Enchuisen, and now fitted with necessarie additions for the use of Englishmen by Anthony Ashley.’ In 1590 Ryther published a translation of Petruccio Ubaldini's ‘Expeditionis Hispaniorum in Angliam vera Descriptio,’ under the title of ‘A discourse concerninge the Spanishe fleete inuadinge Englande in the yeare 1588, and overthrowne by her Maties Nauie under the conduction of the Right honorable the Lorde Charles Howarde, highe Admirall of Englande, written in Italian by Petruccio Ubaldino, citizen of Florence, and translated for A. Ryther: unto the wch discourse are annexed certaine tables expressinge the seuerall exploites and conflictes had with the said fleete. These bookes, with the tables belonginge to them, are to be solde at the shoppe of A. Ryther, beinge a little from Leadenhall, next to the signe of the Tower.’ The book was printed by A. Hatfield. This work is dedicated by Ryther to Lord Howard of Effingham, and in the dedication he alludes to the time spent by him in engraving the plates, and apologises for the two years' delay in its publication. In a letter to the reader, Ryther asks for indulgence ‘because I count my selfe as yet but a yoong beginner.’ The plates consist of a title and ten charts, showing the various stages of the progress and defeat of the Spanish Armada in the Channel, and tracing its further course round the British Isles. They were drawn out, as it appears, by Robert Adams (d. 1595) [q. v.], surveyor of the queen's buildings, and form the most im-