Alfred Stevens (1818-1875) was an English sculptor, architect and painter.
He was born on January 28, 1818 at the small market town Blandford Forum in Dorset, England.
Stevens was the son of a well-known painter. Because he grew up in connection with paintings his father made, he also started to paint first pictures and drawings during his spare time. In 1833 he went abroad on recommendation for nine years to study in Venice, in Pompeii, in Naples, Capri, Milano and in Rome.
Besides studying he was working as an assistant of the famous sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. It is remarkable that he never attended an English school. After Stevens quitted working for Thorvaldsen, he left Italy and went back to England.
Later he left Italy and returned to England, where he teached at the School of Design at Somerset House in London until 1847. In 1850 he became head of a company in Sheffield, specializing in the production of bronzes. Two years later he went to London where he worked on the production of large vases, should find their place in front of the British Museum.
In 1850 he became the manager of the company but just stayed for two years in Sheffield before he went back to London, where he started to create several pieces of art like oversized vases.
During this time he also executed the vases situated on the railings in front of the famous British Museum as well as the lions situated on the dwarf posts.
In 1856 he attended for the Wellington Monument that was supposed to be set up inside the famous St. Paulís Cathedral. Because the artist promised to execute the monument for at least 20.000 pound he got the commission for the monument. But it later turned out as a worse deal because he almost spent all his life creating this monument.
Because the sculptor Stevens spend much time on creating and executing this monument, he didnít do much other artwork besides the already mentioned vases and some female caryatids for the Dorchester House in London. Today the reconstructed building of Dorchester House in a luxury hotel that offers their guests an awesome view over Hyde Park and the caryatids made by Stevens are nowadays exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Besides this works the artist Stevens also executed four mosaics of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel for the spandrel under the dome of St. Paulís Cathedral.
The life of the sculptor Alfred Stevens, which was marked by his works for the St. Paulís Cathedral, ended at the age of 57 on May 1, 1875 in his studio in London. The cause of death got never clarified. Stevens was buried on the Highgate cemetery in northern London.