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William Behnes

(1794-1864), Sculptor

Artist associated with 31 portraits
In 1813, William Behnes enrolled at the Royal Academy schools, intending to train as a painter. After he had received lessons in modelling from Peter Francis Chenu, however, he turned to sculpture. He was awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts in 1819 for inventing 'an instrument for transferring points to marble'. From the 1820s to the 1840s Behnes was one of the country's most prolific and successful portrait sculptors and, in 1837, he was appointed sculptor-in-ordinary to Queen Victoria. His pupils included noted sculptors George Frederic Watts, Thomas Woolner and naturalist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins.

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Charles Warren, by Samuel William Reynolds, after  William Behnes - NPG D8110

Charles Warren

by Samuel William Reynolds, after William Behnes
mezzotint, published 10 June 1824
NPG D8110

John Townsend, by Richard H. Dyer, published by  Martin Colnaghi, after  William Behnes - NPG D40066

John Townsend

by Richard H. Dyer, published by Martin Colnaghi, after William Behnes
stipple engraving, published 12 March 1827
NPG D40066

Queen Victoria, by James Thomson (Thompson), after  Henry Corbould, after  William Behnes - NPG D33563

Queen Victoria

by James Thomson (Thompson), after Henry Corbould, after William Behnes
stipple engraving, (circa 1829)
NPG D33563

Benjamin Travers, after William Behnes - NPG D39278

Benjamin Travers

after William Behnes
line and stipple engraving, (1834)
NPG D39278

Benjamin Travers, by Richard James Lane, after  William Behnes - NPG D21871

Benjamin Travers

by Richard James Lane, after William Behnes
lithograph, (1834)
NPG D21871

Joseph Blanco White, by Frederick Christian Lewis Sr, after  William Behnes - NPG D8310

Joseph Blanco White

by Frederick Christian Lewis Sr, after William Behnes
stipple engraving, circa 1837-1850
NPG D8310

Joseph Blanco White, by Frederick Christian Lewis Sr, after  William Behnes - NPG D8311

Joseph Blanco White

by Frederick Christian Lewis Sr, after William Behnes
stipple engraving, circa 1837-1850
NPG D8311

Henry Earle, by Samuel Cousins, after  Henry Corbould, after  William Behnes - NPG D36093

Henry Earle

by Samuel Cousins, after Henry Corbould, after William Behnes
mezzotint, (1838)
NPG D36093

Henry Earle, by Samuel Cousins, after  Henry Corbould, after  William Behnes - NPG D1842

Henry Earle

by Samuel Cousins, after Henry Corbould, after William Behnes
mezzotint, (1838)
NPG D1842

Shute Barrington, by John Cochran, published by  Fisher Son & Co, after  William Behnes - NPG D15016

Shute Barrington

by John Cochran, published by Fisher Son & Co, after William Behnes
stipple engraving, published 1847
NPG D15016

George Grote, probably after William Behnes - NPG D34997

George Grote

probably after William Behnes
stipple engraving, after 1852
NPG D34997

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Catherine Kennedy

23 July 2015, 09:54

Interestingly, Mr Behnes appears to be responsible for two watercolour portraits of relatives of mine. Both were were painted in 1821 as indicated by the signature on the lower right of each portrait. They are charming paintings of two interesting looking people - how he came to do these portraits, I have no idea. I'd be happy to send photographs of the paintings if you were interested.

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