William Theed

William Theed, also known as William Theed, the younger (1804, Trentham, StaffordshireSeptember 9,1891, Kensington) was an English sculptor, the son of the sculptor and painter William Theed the elder (1764–1817). Although versatile and eclectic in his works, he specialised in portraiture, and his services were extensively used by the Royal Family.

Career

Initially trained by his father, William Theed the younger worked for several years in the studio of EH Baily the sculptor, and on 15 January 1820 was admitted to the Royal Academy Schools. In 1826 he went to Rome.

In Rome, Theed is believed to have studied under Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and Italian Pietro Tenerani, as well as John Gibson and Richard James Wyatt. Here he worked in marble creating statues and busts, including those for the duke of Lucca and the prince and princess of Capua. In 1844-5, after nearly 20 years in Rome, he received a commission from Prince Albert, then the prince consort, who had asked John Gibson (now a close friend of Theed) to send designs for statues to be placed in Osborne House. Two designs by Theed were accepted, "Narcissus at the Fountain" and "Psyche Lamenting the Loss of Cupid" both in marble.

Theed returned to London in 1848 and soon established a highly successful professional practice. He is known to have married, assumed to be around this time, a woman called Mary and had a son Edward, both listed in the 1881 census. In 1851 he displayed three pieces at the Great Exhibition, the most notable a marble of "The Prodigal's Return", a life-size piece, elaborately carved. From London he made further pieces for the prince consort, including a series of mythological reliefs for the reception rooms of Buckingham Palace. Another notable piece for the Royal Family includes a series of twelve bas-reliefs illustrating scenes from Tudor history, this time in bronze, which were made for the prince's chamber in the Palace of Westminster.

The major aspect of Theed's production, however, was portraiture, with which he received commissions for major commemorative statues. Most notably are:
*Sir Isaac Newton, a bronze (1858) which is at St. Peter's Hill in Grantham
*Henry Hallam, a marble (1862) in St Paul's Cathedral.
*Sir Herbert Benjamin Edwardes, a marble (1868) in Westminster Abbey

For the Royal Family, he produced busts of:
*Victoria Mary Louise, Duchess of Kent, in marble (1861)
*Prince Albert in marble (1862)
*Queen Victoria, bronze (1864)

Having been appointed by Queen Victoria to take the death mask of the prince in 1861 he went on to produce several notable memorial statues including those at Balmoral Castle.

He died of old age on 9 September 1891 at his home in Kensington London, with a wealth of £40,751.

Awards

1820 Society of Arts Silver Palette - for a figure of Hercules
1822 Royal Academy Schools Silver Medal
1822 Society of Arts Silver Isis Medal

References

* [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27162?_fromAuth=1 Theed, William, the younger (1804–1891)] , Martin Greenwood, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press, 2004

External links

* [http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/search/results.html?n=1&display=Theed%2c+William+II&_creators=ULAN27097 Images of sculptures by William Theed]


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