(b Blandford Forum, Dorset, 31 Dec. 1817; d London, 1 May 1875). English sculptor, painter, and designer, the son of a housepainter. With the assistance of the local clergyman, who recognized his talent, Stevens was sent to study in Italy in 1833, at the age of 15, and remained there until 1842. He worked with Thorvalden in Rome, and laid the foundations of his style in the study of the Renaissance masters, above all Raphael. After his return to England he taught at the Government School of Design (later the Royal College of Art), 1845–7, and in 1850–7 he was chief designer to a Sheffield firm of bronze- and metal-workers. In 1856 he entered the competition for the Wellington Monument to be erected in St Paul's Cathedral, and although his design was placed sixth, he was eventually awarded the commission.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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