- SERGEL, Johan Tobias von
- Johan Tobias von Sergel was the great Swedish sculptor of the 18th century. He was trained in a French Rococo style and won the Gold Medal of the Swedish Academy in 1760, but did not go to Rome until 1767, where he stayed for eleven years. Like his younger contemporaries Schadow and Canova he turned decisively to Neoclassicism: indeed, on his arrival in Rome he was so struck by what he saw that he was unable to work for four months. His masterpiece, The Drunken Faun (1770-74), is in Stockholm (Nat. Mus.) and a replica is in Helsinki. Like Canova he made a version of the Venus Kallipygos; but his, commissioned by Gustav III of Sweden in 1780, has a portrait head, of the King's mistress. He also made a bronze statue of Gustav III in the pose of the Apollo Belvedere (1790-1808: Stockholm).
Most of his work, including many portraits, is in Stockholm. His drawings are very reminiscent of Fuseli, who was also in Rome in the 1770s. In 1785 he wrote an autobiography.
- Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)
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