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Joseph Edgar Boehm
(English, 1834 -1890 )

Possibly the best-known sculptor of the nineteenth century British school was Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. As his name implies, he was not native British, but was born in Austria and did not travel to Britain until he was fourteen years old. His father, a sculptor and medailleur, had been born in Wallendorf, Hungary, where magnificent horses were bred. He taught his son his craft as well as sharing with him his own instinctual love of horses. Boehm studied first in Vienna, and after moving to Britain was able to travel to Paris and Italy to continue his education.
By the early 1860s Boehm was fully established in Britain and quickly became one of the most sought after sculptors of his time. He was a great favourite of Queen Victoria and enjoyed the patronage of the royal family and the nobility, and was awarded a baronetcy in 1889.
Boehm is best remembered for his portrait busts and statues, many of them on a monumental scale; yet it was inevitable that he should also have experimented with animal studies, given his early training with his father. Among his larger pieces are the colossal equestrian statues of the Prince of Wales and Lord Napier which were erected in Bombay and Calcutta respectively. These grad works showcased the artist’s skill in depicting horses, a subject to which he returned in the medium of small bronzes, such as The End of the Day, a fine study of a weary hunter. Boehm also sculpted cattle and demonstrated the range of his talents by engraving coins and medals.
Boehm exhibited at he Royal Academy from 1862-1891 and became a member in 1882. He also ran a large workshop turning out portraits and monuments for British high society. Among the notables he immortalized in bronze were Queen Victoria, Sir Charles Newton, John Locke, Sir J.E.Millais, Charles Darwin, Thomas Carlyle, Benjamin Disraeli, John Ruskin, Herbert Spencer and William Makepeace Thackeray.


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