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Duchess of Somerset

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1866 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Behnes, William (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    This plaster bust represents the Duchess of Somerset (perhaps Lady Emily Somerset) and is made by William Behnes (1794/5-1864) in England in 1866.
    William Behnes (b. 1794/5-1864) was the son of a Hanoverian pianoforte maker living in London. Behnes commenced studies at the Royal Academy. He probably began work as an independent sculptor around 1819. He was very successful and well respected for the execution of his busts. Behnes exhibited constantly at the Royal Academy between 1815 and 1863, but died almost destitute, having been declared bankrupt in 1861.

  • Dimensions

    Height: 77 cm

  • Object history note

    On loan from the sculptor, William Behnes from a date prior to 1870, this is probably one of the four 'Plaster busts, &c' described as lent by 'the late W. Behnes, Esq.' to the Museum prior to 1870. As a redundant loan the present piece was formally accessioned by the Sculpture Department in 2000.

  • Descriptive line

    Bust, plaster, 'Duchess of Somerset' (perhaps Lady Emily Somerset), by William Behnes, England, 1866

  • Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 192, cat.no. 272

  • Collection code

    Sculpture Collection