Behnes, William

BORN 1795, London - DIED 3 Jan 1864, London: Middlesex Hospital
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (074/PS (18202))

William Behnes was the son of a piano maker from Hanover. His mother was English. He grew up in Dublin and studied art at the Academy in that city. After the family returned to London he studied at the Royal Academy under Peter Francis Chenu. In 1815 started exhibiting at the Royal Academy and his paintings won several medals. After a few years he concentrated on his sculptures. In 1837 queen Victoria appointed him 'Sculptor in Ordinary'.

Although his work was popular he had trouble handling his finances and in 1861 he was declared bankrupt. It was suspected that gambling and alcoholism contributed to this. On New Years Day 1864 he was found unconscious in the gutter and he died two days later. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. His modest tomb was designed by his last pupil Morton Edwards. George Cruikshank started a committee but it failed to raise money for a monument and bust.


The grave of William Behnes at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (17 Aug 2017)


Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
Wikipedia (EN):

Behrens, Manja

Published: 02 Sep 2018
Last update: 19 Apr 2020