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William Behnes

(c. 1795—1864) sculptor


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(b London, c.1795; d London, 3 Jan. 1864). English sculptor, the son of a German piano manufacturer who had settled in London. After training at the Royal Academy Schools, he quickly became successful as a maker of busts, the best of which rival those of Sir Francis Chantrey, and he was appointed sculptor in ordinary to Queen Victoria on her accession in 1837. He also made monuments and statues (Sir Henry Havelock, 1861, Trafalgar Square, London). His work was uneven in quality and despite the demand for his services his extravagance led him to bankruptcy and he died in the Middlesex Hospital after being found lying ‘literally in the gutter with threepence in his pocket’. His brother Henry (1802–37) was also a sculptor. He adopted the name Henry Burlowe, evidently to distance himself from the dissolute William.

From The Oxford Dictionary of Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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