Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sievier, Robert William

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SIEVIER, ROBERT WILLIAM (1794–1865), engraver and sculptor, was born in London on 24 July 1794. Having in 1812 gained the Society of Arts silver medal for a pen-and-ink drawing, he entered the schools of the Royal Academy, studied modelling and anatomy, and was instructed in engraving by John Young (1755–1825) [q. v.] and Edward Scriven [q. v.] Working almost wholly in stipple, he produced some excellent plates, of which the most important are the portraits of John Latham, M.D., after Jackson, 1815, and Lord Ellenborough, after Lawrence, 1819; ‘The Captive’ and ‘The Dream,’ a pair, after M. Haughton, 1820; ‘The Importunate Author,’ after G. S. Newton, 1824; and ‘Venus Descending,’ after Etty, 1824. About 1824 Sievier gave up engraving in favour of sculpture, which he practised successfully for about twenty years; the prince consort, the king of Prussia, Lord Eldon, Lord Brougham, and many other distinguished persons sat to him for their busts, and he received various public commissions, including the statue of Jenner in Gloucester Cathedral, that of Charles Dibdin at Greenwich Hospital, and that of Sir W. Curtis at the Foundling Hospital. He also executed a few fancy subjects, such as ‘Musidora,’ ‘Bacchante,’ ‘Girl with a Lamb,’ and ‘Boy with a Tortoise,’ and was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1822 to 1844. During the latter part of his life Sievier, who had always a great taste for scientific pursuits, became absorbed in inventions for the improvement of various manufactures and the development of the electric telegraph, wholly abandoning art. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1840. Sievier resided for many years in Henrietta Street, Cavendish Square, London, where he built himself a studio, but later removed to Rochester Road, Kentish Town, and there he died suddenly on 28 April 1865, and was buried at Kensal Green.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1893; Times, 1 May 1865.]

F. M. O'D.