John Birnie Philip was born in London, England on 23 November 1824. By 1841 he was employed as an apprentice carver. In 1842 he entered the Government School of Design at Somerset House in London where was taught by the painter John Rogers Herbert (1810-1890). Herbert introduced him to the architect and designer Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) who. in c.1844-45, engaged Philip to assist him in the design of wood carvings for the new Houses of Parliament in London. Soon after, Philip set up his own studio at Hans Place, Knightsbridge, London and embarked on a career as an independent architectural decorator and ornamental sculptor. He later relocated his studio to Merton Villa, King's Road, Chelsea, London. In 1848-49 Philip visited Rome.

Text source: Arts + Architecture Profiles from Art History Research net (AHRnet)

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