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Francis John Williamson - Biography


(1833--1920). Williamson studied at the Royal Academy, where he was a pupil of John Bell. He later became the apprentice and then the assistant of John H. Foley, with whom he worked for 20 years. He became private sculptor to Queen Victoria in the 1880s and 1890s, reputedly modelling almost all the members of the Royal Family at his studio in Esher. The portrait busts he executed for them include Prince Alamaya of Abyssinia (1880), Prince Leopard, Duke of Albany and Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, all at Osborne House; and Arthur, Duke of Connaught (1885) at Windsor Castle. Although primarily a portrait sculptor, he also produced a considerable number of public statues and memorials, notably a statue of Queen Victoria for the Royal College of Physicians in London, with replicas in Croydon, Australia, India, Rangoon and Ireland. His sculptures also include a series of statuettes of Princess Alice of Albany, the infant Prince Edward of York, and Lord Tennyson (1894). Williamson was particularly noted for his skilled treatment of draperies and materials, and exhibited throughout his life at the Royal Academy and leading London galleries. Sources: Cavanagh, T., Public Sculpture of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1997, p.341; Graves, A., Royal Academy Exhibitors, 1769--1904, vol.III, London, 1905--6; Noszlopy, George T., Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield, Liverpool, 1998, p.208; Read, B., Victorian Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1982, pp.69, 352; Spielmann, M.H., British Sculpture and Sculptors of Today, London, 1901, p.18f. [SBC2005]


The works of Francis John Williamson:


Statue of Queen Victoria, Hastings

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