John Flaxman and John Charles Felix Rossi


Coade Stone

Covent Garden (Royal Opera House)


This sculpture of Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy, is matched by one of Thalia, the Muse of Comedy, on the other side of the portico. It seems likely that, like the frieze under the portico, these figures were both designed by Flaxman, and executed, or executed in part, by John Charles Felix Rossi (1762-1839); but they are often attributed to Flaxman alone, or sometimes even to Rossi alone. It is pleasant to think of Flaxman's work on display in this particular part of London, where his father had his shop and studio, and where as a boy he "read his way surreptitiously through volumes on Covent Garden stalls" (Uglow 78).

Photograph, caption, and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]