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 Grinling Gibbons

Grinling Gibbons

Birth
Rotterdam, Rotterdam Municipality, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Death 3 Aug 1721 (aged 73)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Covent Garden, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 7077 · View Source
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Sculptor and Wood Carver. Very little is known about his early life. He was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He moved to Deptford, England around 1667, and by 1693 had accepted commissions from the royal family and had been appointed as a master carver. By 1680 he was already known as the "King's Carver", and carried out exquisite work for St Paul's Cathedral, Windsor Castle, and the Earl of Essex's house at Cassiobury. His carving was so fine that it was said a pot of carved flowers above his house in London would tremble from the motion of passing coaches. Grinling was employed by Wren to work on St Paul's Cathedral and later was appointed as master carver to George I. He was also commissioned by King William III to create carvings, some of which adorn Kensington Palace today. An example of his work can be seen in the Presence Chamber above the fireplace, which was originally intended to frame a portrait of Queen Mary II after her death in 1694. Also in the Orangery at Kensington, you can see some his pieces. Many fine examples of his work can still be seen in the churches around London - particularly the choir stalls and organ case of St Paul's Cathedral. Some of the finest Grinling carvings accessible to the general public are those on display at the National Trust's Petworth House in West Sussex, UK. At Petworth the Carved Room is host to a fine and extensive display of intricate wooden carvings by Grinling. His work can be seen in the London churches of St Michael Paternoster Royal and St James, Piccadilly, where he carved the wood reredos and marble font. The Anglican dislike of painted altar pieces typically left a large space on the east wall that needed filling, which often gave Grinling's garlands a very prominent position. His association with Deptford is commemorated locally Grinling Gibbons Primary School is in Clyde Street, near the site of Sayes Court. Much of Gibbons work survives in isolated country houses, but Hampton Court Palace near London is an abundance of fine carvings by the Dutch-born master. Grinling work had an enormous influence of interior design and decor during the Golden Age of the English country house. Later craftsmen such as Thomas Chippendale are known to have been heavily influenced by his work.

Bio by: Shock


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Nov 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7077
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Grinling Gibbons (4 Apr 1648–3 Aug 1721), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7077, citing St. Paul's Churchyard, Covent Garden, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .