He studied first under Peter Scheemakers before studying and working as an antiques dealer, restorer and copier in Rome from 1759 to 1770. Returning to England he became one of the most fashionable portrait sculptors in the country.
Nollekens enjoyed the patronage of George III and went on to sculpt a number of British political figures, including George III himself, William Pitt the Younger, Charles James Fox, and Charles Watson-Wentworth.
Nollekens died in London, having made a fortune from his work.
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