Monday 24 August 2020

Four Busts by Michael Rysbrack at the Redland Chapel, Bristol

Under Construction

The Cossins and Innys Families of Redland Court, Bristol.
in the 18th Century.

The busts of John and Martha Cossins, 
and William and John Innys 
by Michael Rysbrack


The original uncompleted blog entry was posted as:

The busts are now in the Redland Chapel, Redland, Bristol.

Bust of John Cossins (1682 - 1759).
Michael Rysbrack

The photographs above show that unusually, the piece of marble selected for this bust was seriously flawed with a dark vein running through it

Martha Cossins nee Innys (- 1762).

Michael Rysbrack

Photographs taken in very low light whilst precariously perched on a long ladder.
So please forgive the low resolution.

Despite the flaw in the marble I believe this is a very fine bust.


Notes - 

Much of the information gathered here first appeared in 
Michael Rysbrack Sculptor 1694 - 1770. by Katherine Eustace - Exhibition Catalogue. City of Bristol Art Gallery 1982.

and A Place Full of Rich and Industrious People - Katherine Eustace - in British Art Journal Vol VII Spring Summer 2006.


John Cossins (1682 -1759).

of Redland Court, Redland, Bristol.

 Formerly of St Pauls Church Yard, Grocer.

Oil on canvas

743 x 615 mm.

This pair of portraits have been attributed traditionally to John Vanderbank (1694 - 1739).

Both this portrait and the portrait of his wife (below) are in very good matching carved frames of the period - which have been regilded.

These portraits were at Redland Court on loan but due to return to Redland Chapel. 

Redland Court has recently been sold to developers and the School is being amalgamated with another private girls school.

There is a paper label on the back perhaps in the hand of John Innys (Eustace): 

"John Cossins of Redland Court Esqr. Son of Roger Cossins of London by Martha one of the five Daughters and Co-Heiress of Francis Saville of London Esqr. He was born in London Feb. 20. 1682 Married Martha the youngest daughter of Andrew Innys of Bristol Gent. Feb. 5. 1714 Bought the mansion of Redland Court Jul. 18. 1732 Rebuilt the mansion House which was finished July 14. 1735 paid his Fine for Sherriffe of London and Middlesex June 23. 1737 Built the Chapel at Redland which was opened Oct. 5. 1743 was appointed High Sherriffe for the County of Gloucester Feb. 25. 1755 Was sworn into that office Mar. 10. 175: but was represented by his Brother in Law John Innys. He departed this Life at Redland Court April 19. 1759Aged 77. And was interred in the Vault under the Communion Table Post Funera Vertus. J. Vanderbank P."

George Vertue noted that "only intemperance prevented him from being the greatest portraitist of his generation

The copy of the Entombment by Anibale Carracci  formerly at Houghton, bought by Catherine the Great and subsequently destroyed in a fire in the Hermitage in St Peterberg is also attributed to Vanderbank.

Shiercliff in The Bristol and Hotwell Guide 1793 ascribes the Entombment to Moses Vanderbank the brother of John - (Eustace - I couldn't find a ref to Moses V in a copy of the Guide available online 
see -;view=1up;seq=7

Eustace notes that given the death of John Vanderbank in 1739, a year before work began on the Redland Chapel the attribution to Moses Vanderbank (fl 1720-45) is more likely.

Mrs Martha Cossins nee Innys (d. 1762).
Daughter of Andrew Innys.

These portraits have been attributed in the past to John Vanderbank (1694 - 1739).
Both have the scrubbed appearance of being over restored, particularly that of Mrs Cossins.

Photographs by the author.


The copy in the Redland Chapel of the Entombment by Anibale Carracci  formerly at Houghton, bought by Catherine the Great and subsequently destroyed in a fire in the Hermitage in St Peterberg and attributed to Vanderbank.


Michael Rysbrack
Oil on Canvas
1257 x 1003mm
John Vanderbank.
 National Portrait Gallery.

Michael Rysbrack
by John Vanderbank 1728
Mezzotint by John Faber Jr.
31.8 x 25.1 cms

Image courtesey National Portrait Gallery of Scotland.


This portrait below posted out of devilment.

Another portrait possibly of Michael Rysbrack (Philip Mould).
or possibly John Vanderbank self portrait?
Oil on Canvas
902 x 704 mm

Image courtesy Philip Mould, Historical Portraits.

An artist; standing, nearly three-quarter length, half-r, eyes to front, r elbow resting and r hand holding a scroll of paper, on which is drawn a pair of legs, wearing a night-cap, coat, shirt and drapery Coloured chalks, squared for indentation

Drawing possibly by Vanderbank of an Artist
Squared for possible enlarging.

380 x 280 mm.
Croft Murray suggests that this is a reduced copy of a painting signed and dated Vander Banc Fecit 1729.
see -

Image - British Museum

Redland Court.
Redland, Bristol
Scottish Architect John Strahan.

Image British Library

Gerry Nichols notes in 2013 on the BL Website - This original frontage was changed in 1747 by the addition of two extra bays making the proportions 2/3/2. The original 1/3/1 proportions are still visible on the rear elevation. The building is still in use as Redland High School for Girls.
Strahan probably came to Bristol from Scotland - the Innys (Innes) family - aristocratic from Morrayshire were also originally from Scotland.

see Article by Bryan Little -

Possibly the original location for one of the Innys busts - the lack of socles on these two busts might suggest that the socle on the broken pediment of this doorcase was originally that of one of the busts.

Stone work possibly by Paty

Redland Court 
Architectural detail


Redland Chapel 1788.

Redland Chapel

Drawing Samuel Hieronymus Grimm 1788

British Library

Comment by Gerry Nichols on British Library webpage

"Most of the interior carvings were completed when the Chapel was opened as Thomas Paty the carver submitted his invoice for £106 8s 0d on 4 June 1743. 

A few details such as the pulpit canopy (1744) and three cherubim heads (1747) followed. All of the oak panelling was installed by William Brooks in May 1742. The wall around the churchyard was not completed until 1753. 

[Sources Redland Chapel and Redland H J Wilkins 1924 J W Arrowsmith Bristol Redland 791 to 1800 J.Charlton & D.M.Milton 1951 J.W.Arrowsmith Bristol]"

Redland Chapel & Gallery, with the Marble Bust of John Cossins Esqr. who died 19 April 1759 & Martha his wife who died 11 Feb 1762.

"This is almost certainly a Thomas Paty drawing of the original design for the decoration of the interior of Redland Chapel. The niches for the busts of John and Martha Cossins were not made in accordance with this drawing but had rounded heads. The busts carved by Michael Rusbrack in 1734 were brought from Redland Court and installed in the niches on 12 July 1762 after the death of John and Martha. 
In 1860 as part of a re-ordering of the Chapel, two lower arches were pierced in this wall with rounded heads". 
Source Redland and Redland Chapel H J Wilkins 1924 J W Arrowsmith. London. 


Photograph taken by the author.9 June 2017.

Redland Chapel The Monument in the Vestry erected at the expense of John Innys of Redland Court

Drawings of a monument in the Vestry of Redland Chapel, erected by John Innys. It has inscriptions for family members, including his two sisters Martha (married to John Cossins Esq who built the estate and chapel) and Ann Innys. Also Nicholas Marissal and his wife Mary (sister to John Cossins) are included. John Cossins came from a wealthy grocer's family in London and he married the daughter of a Bristol merchant Andrew Innys, settled in Bristol and bought the Redland Court estate. He replaced the old manor house with a fashionable classical mansion and he also built this chapel in a similar style.

"This monument was designed and executed by Thomas Paty of Bristol and finished on 15 July 1762. It includes the date of Martha Cossins death (11 February 1762)". (added later - my comment see Eustace?) 

Source Redland and Redland Chapel H.J.Wilkins, 1924, Arrowsmith. Bristol".

Comment by Gerry Nichols of 2013 on the British Library webpage.

Source of images and info. - British Library.


Drawing of Interior of The Redland Chapel by James Stewart Junior c. 1750.

[Interior View of Redland Chapel, near Redland Court, in Westbury-upon-Trim Parish]


Drawing of Interior of The Redland Chapel by James Stewart Junior

The British Library website has a comment that suggests the figures represented are John and Martha Cossins on the left and Elizabeth ,William (bookseller) and John Innys* on the right.
Image Courtesy British Library.

see -

* John Innys inherited Redland Court on the death of his sister Martha Cossins.


Image above courtesey Historic England

Detail of the monument to Andrew Innys.
died 1723, St Johns on the Wall, Bristol.

Signed M Rysbrack.


Bristol Archives


For William Innys see -



For a useful account of John Innys see -

For some interesting notes the Innys family see -


The busts of William and John Innys.
Michael Rysbrack.


1 comment:

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