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Grinling Gibbons

Ginling Gibbons 1648-1721 Born in Rotterdam

An extremely talented wood carver[?], said by some to be the finest of all time. He was discovered by chance by the diarist John Evelyn from whom he was renting a cottage.

"I saw the young man at his carving, by the light of a candle. I saw him to be engaged on a carved representation of Tintoretto's "Crucifixion", which he had in a frame of his own making"

Later that same evening he described what he had seen to Sir Christopher Wren Wren and Evelyn then introduced him to Charles II who gave him his first commission, it can still be seen in the dining room of Windsor Castle

Of Gibbons Horace Walpole wrote later

"There is no instance of a man before Gibbons who gave wood the loose and airy lightness of flowers, and chained together the various productions of the elements with the free disorder natural to each species"

He was employed by Sir Christopher Wren to work on St Pauls Cathedral[?] and later was appointed as master carver to George I Many fine examples of his work can still be seen in the churches around London, particularly the choir stalls and organ case of St Pauls Cahtedral.

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