With little stimulus from abroad during long periods of war with France, there was not much development in art in Britain during these times. Sir Christopher Wren complained that English Craftsmen lacked a basic knowledge of drawing. Sculpture and casts were imported from the Continent and with artists & clients looking back to the sixteenth century and antiquity, a grand transition took place.
A visitor could be forgiven for walking past rows of marble busts in the galleries of the UK and adorning public buildings everywhere, but some of these by Master sculptors of the time are truly magnificent and it is enjoyable & valuable to take a little time to consider the fine craftsmanship and advancement in sculpture made during these periods.
Some of these excellent artists came from Europe. Roubilliac was French, Michael Rysbach Flemish, but they worked in England for many years and found willing patrons as the fashion for marble busts to adorn the homes of the wealthy became de rigueur .
The National Portrait Gallery in London has some wonderful examples from these periods, as well as work from more recent times.
With reference to 'Sculpture in Britain 1530 - 1830'
By Margaret Whinney