Joseph Bentley Leyland, born in Halifax 1811, sculpted Kilmeny. He started working in 1827
Photograph of the sculpture of Kilmeny at Bankfield Museum, Halifax, West Yorkshire.
At the age of twenty-one, J. B. Leyland modelled a statue of great size. It was of Spartacus, the Thracian hero. The statue was displayed at the Manchester Exhibition of 1832. It was said to be the most striking work of art on display, and a work far beyond the sculptor's age. This praise heralded the arrival of a young genius. This youthful sculptor and poet was one of a group of young Yorkshire artists and writers who had emerged in the late Georgian and early Victorian period. They met regularly at the George Hotel, Bradford where they would discuss and criticize each other's literary and artistic offerings in a convivial atmosphere. Branwell Brontë was a member of this group. This article looks at the life and work of J. B. Leyland — 'flawed genius'.