J.R. Smith, Nollekens and His Time, London, 1828, II, p. 105.
R. Gunnis, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660 - 1851, London, 1951, pp. 434 - 437.
M. Whinney, Sculpture in Britain 1530 to 1830, rev. J. Physick, London, 1988, pp. 261 - 269.
F. Haskell and N. Penny, Taste and the Antique - The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500 - 1900, New Haven and London, 1981, pp. 325 - 328, fig. 173.
An identical bust by Joseph Wilton, from the collection of Eric Clapton and previously in the collection of the Duke of Abercorn, was sold Christie's London, 1 July 1997, lot 18 (£ 56,500).
Wilton (1722 - 1803) trained under Laurent Delvaux in Nivelles, and in 1744 moved to Paris to study at the Académie with Pigalle. From 1747 he spent seven years in Italy, the last four in Florence. In 1755 he returned to England, and soon established a considerable reputation. He was appointed 'Sculptor to His Majesty' in 1764.
He was the most important of the three sculptors who became founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768, and exhibited there from 1769 to 1783. In 1790 he was appointed Keeper of the Royal Academy and held the post until his death.
Wilton's most gradiose public statement was the Monument to General Wolfe in Westminster Abbey, which was erected in 1772 (Whinney, op. cit., p. 265, fig. 193). Although perhaps best known as a designer of church monuments and as a portaitist, Wilton also produced classical statuary, including a Venus de' Medici for Lord Charlemont, Venus and Apollo for the Earl of Pembroke and Flora and Bacchus for Lord Tilney (Gunnis, op. cit., p. 436).