Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Woodington, William Frederick

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WOODINGTON, WILLIAM FREDERICK (1806–1893), sculptor and painter, was born at Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, on 10 Feb. 1806. He came to London in 1815, and about 1820 was articled to Robert William Sievier [q. v.], who was at that time practising engraving, but who shortly afterwards abandoned that art in favour of sculpture, and in this was followed by his pupil. Woodington first appeared at the Royal Academy in 1825, and until 1882 was a frequent contributor of fancy figures and reliefs of sacred and poetical subjects which, though deficient in the highest qualities of the art, were composed with much grace and feeling. He also modelled many portrait busts. To the Westminster Hall competition of 1844 he sent ‘The Deluge’ and ‘Milton dictating to his Daughters,’ and in that for the Wellington monument in St. Paul's Cathedral he was awarded the second premium. He subsequently executed two of the reliefs on the walls of the consistory chapel in which the monument, the work of Alfred Stevens [q. v.], was temporarily placed. His other works in sculpture include the bronze relief of the battle of the Nile on the plinth of the Nelson column in Trafalgar Square, the statues of Columbus, Galileo, Drake, Cook, Ralegh, and Mercator on the colonnade of the Exchange buildings at Liverpool, and the colossal bust of Sir Joseph Paxton at the Crystal Palace. Woodington also practised painting, and frequently exhibited pictures of a similar class to his works in marble. In 1853 he sent to the Academy ‘The Angels directing the Shepherds to Bethlehem,’ in 1854 an illustration to Dante, and in 1855 ‘Job and his Friends;’ his ‘Love and Glory’ was engraved by J. Porter. For some years Woodington held the post of curator of the school of sculpture at the Royal Academy, and in 1876 he was elected an associate of that body. He died at his house at Brixton on 24 Dec. 1893, and was buried in Norwood cemetery.

[Daily Chron. 27 Dec. 1893; Times, 27 Dec. 1893; Athenæum, 30 Dec. 1893; Stannus's Alfred Stevens and his Work, 1891; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1893.]

F. M. O'D.