2013 The bust of Thomas Hollis by Joseph Wilton
When Joseph Wilton (1722–1803), the foremost British sculptor of his time, carved his friend Hollis’ portrait in marble, he created a vivid characterisation of a frank and determined man. Wilton portrayed Hollis as a great republican in the ancient Roman mode. He is bare-chested and depicted with the dagger emblems of his hero Brutus, whom Hollis regarded as a liberator of the people.
Combining Wilton’s talents and Hollis’ presence, this sculpture is outstanding both as a work of art and as a document of its age. NHMF has secured it for the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, where it will feature in a new ‘radicals and revolutionaries’ visitor trail.