Ino and Bacchus

WAG 8991


Son of a Welsh market gardener who settled in Liverpool when Gibson was nine, he was apprenticed to a cabinet-maker then a stonemason. He trained under the Sculptor F A Lege and from 1810 was exhibiting drawings and models at the Liverpool Academy. His first patron was Liverpool art collector William Roscoe (1753 - 1831) and he made copies of Old Master drawings in Roscoe's Collection. He went to London in 1817 to continue his studies of Greek and Roman sculpture and met the sculptor John Flaxman (1755 - 1826). That same year he travelled to Rome where he met the infamous sculptor Antonio Canova (1757 - 1822). According to Greek mythology, Ino was the aunt of the god Dionysus (Roman: Bacchus). She was the sister of his mother Semele, who was impregnanted by Zeus and who died when she looked upon his godly form (mortals could not look upon gods without perishing). Ino raised Dionysus in Semele's place. The Classical influence is typical of Gibson's work and he has inscribed this drawing as made whilst in Rome.