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Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 8 "Germany" to "Gibson, William"

Gibson published a number of Sermons


A second edition of the _Codex juris_, "revised and improved, with large additions by the author," was published at Oxford in 1761. Besides the works already mentioned, Gibson published a number of _Sermons_, and other works of a religious and devotional kind. The _Vita Thomae Bodleii_ with the _Historia Bibliothecae Bodleianae_ in the _Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum_ (Oxford, 1697), and the _Reliquiae Spelmannianae_ (Oxford, 1698), are also from his pen.

GIBSON, JOHN (1790-1866), English sculptor, was born near Conway in 1790, his father being a market gardener. To his mother, whom he described as ruling his father and all the family, he owed, like many other great men, the energy and determination which carried him over every obstacle. When he was nine years old the family were on the point of emigrating to America, but Mrs Gibson's determination stopped this project on their arrival at Liverpool, and there John was sent to school. The windows of the print shops of Liverpool riveted his attention, and, having no means to purchase the commonest print, he acquired the habit of committing to memory the outline of one figure after another, drawing it on his return home. Thus early he formed the system of observing, remembering and noting, sometimes even a month later, scenes and momentary actions from nature. In this way he, by degrees, transferred from the shop window to his paper at home the

chief figures from David's picture of Napoleon crossing the Alps, which, by particular request, he copied in bright colours as a frontispiece to a little schoolfellow's new prayer-book, for sixpence. At fourteen years of age Gibson was apprenticed to a firm of cabinetmakers,--portrait and miniature painters in Liverpool requiring a premium which his father could not give. This employment so disgusted him that after a year (being interesting and engaging then apparently as in after-life) he persuaded his masters to change his indentures, and bind him to the wood-carving with which their furniture was ornamented. This satisfied him for another year, when an introduction to the foreman of some marble works, and the sight of a small head of Bacchus, unsettled him again. He had here caught a glimpse of his true vocation, and in his leisure hours began to model with such success that his efforts found their way to the notice of Mr Francis, the proprietor of the marble works. The wood-carving now, in turn, became his aversion; and having in vain entreated his masters to set him free, he instituted a strike. He was every day duly at his post, but did no work. Threats, and even a blow, moved him not. At length the offer of L70 from Francis for the rebellious apprentice was accepted, and Gibson found himself at last bound to a master for the art of sculpture. Francis paid the lad 6s. a week, and received good prices for his works,--sundry early works by the youthful sculptor, which exist in Liverpool and the neighbourhood, going by the name of Francis to this day. It was while thus apprenticed that Gibson attracted the notice of William Roscoe, the historian. For him Gibson executed a basso rilievo in terra-cotta, now in the Liverpool museum. Roscoe opened to the sculptor the treasures of his library at Allerton, by which he became acquainted with the designs of the great Italian masters.

A cartoon of the Fall of the Angels marked this period,--now also in the Liverpool museum. We must pass over his studies in anatomy, pursued gratuitously


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