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1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Spiers, Richard Phené

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SPIERS, RICHARD PHENÉ (1838-1916), English architect and author. Phené Spiers occupied a unique position amongst the English architects of the latter half of the 19th century, his long mastership of the architectural school at the Royal Academy having given him the opportunity of moulding and shaping the minds of more than a generation of students. He was educated in the engineering department of King's College, London, and proceeded thence to the atelier Questel of the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, for upwards of three years, a method of study rare for an architectural student in those days. On his return he won the gold medal and travelling scholarship of the Royal Academy, and in 1865 the Soane medal of the R.I.B.A. In 1871, after he had worked in the offices of Sir Digby Wyatt and William Burges, he gained second premium with a spirited design (showing a good deal of the Neo-Grec feeling consequent on his French training) for the new Criterion building, London. His work of about this period included Lord Monkswell's house, Chelsea. Phené Spiers travelled in France, Spain, Egypt, Syria and the East, and besides his record of more purely architectural data, he made many water-colour sketches showing much talent and facility. He was a frequent exhibitor at various galleries, and a good specimen of his art — the loggia at Hampton Court — is in the Victoria and Albert museum. His works and publications were many, and covered a wide ground. Amongst them are his new edition of James Fergusson's History of Architecture and the further volumes on Indian and Eastern art; Architectural Drawing; The Architecture of Greece and Rome (conjointly with the late W. J. Anderson); The Mosque at Damascus; and the articles on Persian and Roman Architecture in Dr. Russell Sturgis's Dictionary of Architecture, besides an edition of Pugin's Normandy. For the E.B. Spiers wrote most of the articles dealing with architecture. The position to which his erudition and ability entitled him was fully recognized in other countries as well as his own, as is shown by his election to membership of many foreign societies in France, Spain and America. He died in London Oct. 3 1916.