John Richard Clayton (1827-1913)
Sculptor and stained glass designer. John Richard Clayton was from a peripatetic family, originating in the north of England, and began his career making sculptural models. He also worked as a book illustrator and designed stained glass from the early 1850s. He spent a few months at the Royal Academy Schools in 1849, where he met Dante Gabriel Rossetti
and other young Pre-Raphaelite artists. Through the architect George Gilbert Scott
he met Alfred Bell
, who was one of Scott's pupils. He began working with Bell, and the firm Clayton & Bell
went on to become one of the most prolific stained glass manufacturers and church decorators in England. He continued to work independently as a sculptor and draughtsman, and designed the mosaics for Scott's Albert Memorial in 1872. The wealth derived from the success of Clayton & Bell allowed him to develop his own art collections. He was also influential as an advisor and had many friends among leading churchmen.Further reading
William Waters, Angels & Icons: Pre-Raphaelite Stained Glass 1850–1870 (Abbots Morton: Serapim Press, 2012), pp. 41–120.
Peter Larkworthy, Clayton and Bell, Stained Glass Artists and Decorators (London: The Ecclesiological Society, 1984).
Gerald W. Clayton, 'John Richard Clayton: Some notes on his lesser-known works' Journal of the British Society of Master Glass-Painters, vol. xii, no. 1 (1955-6), 36-8.
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