Edward Hodges Baily, R.A., F.R.S.

(10 March 1788 - 22 May 1867)

English sculptor who was born in Downend in Bristol. Baily's (sometimes misspelled Bailey) father, who was a celebrated carver of figureheads for ships, destined him for a commercial life, but even at school the boy showed his natural taste and talents by producing numerous wax models and busts of his schoolfellows. At the age of fourteen Baily was placed in a mercantile house, where he worked for the next two years, though he still felt a strong leaning towards his artistic abilities. At the age of sixteen he abandoned his commercial career and began executing portraits in wax. Two Homeric studies, executed for a friend, were shown to John Flaxman, who bestowed on them such high commendation that in 1807 Baily came to London and placed himself as a pupil under the great sculptor. In 1809 he entered the Royal Academy Schools.

In 1811 he gained the Royal Academy gold medal for a model of 'Hercules restoring Alcestis to Admetus', and soon after exhibited 'Apollo discharging his Arrows against the Greeks' and 'Hercules casting Lichas into the Sea.' He was elected ARA in 1817 and RA in 1821 when he exhibited one of his best pieces, 'Eve at the Fountain.' He was entrusted with the carving of the bas-reliefs on the south side of the Marble Arch in Hyde Park, and executed numerous busts and statues of public figures, including the prominent, well-known statue of Nelson, at the top of Nelson's Column, in Trafalgar Square. In 1857, the year of his retirement from the Royal Academy, he also designed a Turner Gold Medal for Landscape Painting.

Baily's election as a fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) came in 1842. Amongst his pupils was William Theed (1804–1891), a leading Victorian sculptor who produced a number of portrait busts and the large group sculpture ‘’Africa’’ for the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens. Among Baily's assistants were Musgrave Watson (1804–1847) and Joseph Durham ARA (1814–1877).

Financial insecurity was a recurring theme in his life. He was first declared bankrupt in 1831, and again in 1838. On the first occasion questions were asked in Parliament on his behalf because his financial distress had resulted from delays in receiving payment for sculptures at Buckingham Palace. Fortunately his appeals to the Royal Academy for financial assistance, were successful in the 1830s, as again in the 1860s, when they provided him with a pension of £200 a year as an honorary retired RA.

Baily died at 99 Devonshire Road, Holloway on 22 May 1867 and is buried in London's Highgate Cemetery.

Wikipedia

BAILY, EDWARD HODGES (1788–1867), sculptor, was born at Bristol, where his father was known as a skilful carver of figure-heads for ships. He was sent to a grammar school, but showed the common artistic repugnance to the regular studies. Young Baily would carve strange portraits of his schoolfellows, and showed no capacity for ordinary school work. At fourteen he entered a merchant's office, and remained there for two years. During this time he obtained some instruction from a modeller in wax, and greatly improved his opportunity. Soon he forsook commerce, and began taking portraits in wax. By virtue of some studies which he made from the antique, he obtained a fortunate introduction to Flaxman, in whose studio, in 1807, he became a pupil, and there he remained for seven years. In 1809 he entered the Academy schools, gaining silver and gold medals in quick succession. He was made an associate in 1817. In 1818 he executed for the British Literary Institution the beautiful statue which established his reputation, 'Eve at the Fountain.' In 1821 he was elected a full member of the Royal Academy. From this time until 1858 he was a busy man, and a constant exhibitor; the execution of portrait statues and busts occupying the greatest share of his attention. In the region of ideal art his taste led him rather towards domestic than classical subjects. Nagler gives high praise to a representation, in high relief, of 'Motherly Love.' Kindred subjects, the 'Mother and Child,' 'Group of Children,' and the like, were favourites of his, and were often repeated. Of his portrait statues, perhaps the best known are his Charles James Fox and Lord Mansfield in St. Stephen's Hall, Westminster. He had among his sitters many distinguished men, including Stothard, Fuseli, Flaxman, Byron, Haydon, and the Duke of Wellington. Of his connection with the duke an amusing account is preserved by Haydon. It shows the sculptor to have been at once a cool-headed and high-spirited man. Amongst purely fanciful subjects, besides those already referred to, 'The Graces,' 'Eve listening to the Voice,' and 'A girl preparing for the Bath' may be mentioned. In 1863 Baily, who for some years then past had done little, was made an 'honorary retired academician,' and exhibited no more. He died at Holloway on 22 May 1867. He stands high in his profession as an artist, but was not careful enough of the money his talent procured, and the last years of his long life were much embarrassed. A writer in the 'Art Journal' (July 1867) says: 'The years of his prolonged life were actively passed in upholding the dignity and purity of his art, and in its annals his name must always be referred to as one of the most successful and accomplished British sculptors of the nineteenth century.'

[Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 02, Baily, Edward Hodges, by Ernest Radford; Sister Project: Wikipedia article. 1904 Errata appended. Art Journal, 1867; Athenæum, 1 June 1867; Haydon's Life and Letters, 3 vols., edited by Tom Taylor; Nagler's Kunstler-Lexicon, ed. 1833; Redgrave's Dict, of Eng. School; Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line.



BAILY, EDWARD HODGES (1788-1867), British sculptor, was born at Bristol on the 10th of March 1788. His father, who was a celebrated carver of figureheads for ships, destined him for a commercial life, but even at school the boy showed his natural taste and remarkable talents by producing numerous wax models and busts of his schoolfellows, and afterwards, when placed in a mercantile house, still carried on his favourite employment. Two Homeric studies, executed for a friend, were shown to J. Flaxman, who bestowed on them such high commendation that in 1807 Baily came to London and placed himself as a pupil under the great sculptor. In 1809 he entered the academy schools. In 1811 he gained the academy gold medal for a model of "Hercules restoring Alcestis to Admetus," and soon after exhibited "Apollo discharging his Arrows against the Greeks" and "Hercules casting Lichas into the Sea." In 1821 he was elected R.A., and exhibited one of his best pieces, "Eve at the Fountain." He was entrusted with the carving of the bas-reliefs on the south side of the Marble Arch in Hyde Park, and executed numerous busts and statues, such as those of Nelson in Trafalgar Square, of Earl Grey, of Lord Mansfield and others. Baily died at Holloway on the 22nd of May 1867.

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Baily, Edward Hodges.

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