Wilson Online Reference
Thomas Woolner, R.A., 1825-1892
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Thomas Woolner was indentured at the age of twelve to the painter Charles Behnes and on Behnes's death in 1840, he transferred to his brother William, a talented portrait sculptor. William Behnes trained him (particularly in carving) and Woolner continued to work for him when his apprenticeship ended. In 1842 he entered the Royal Academy Schools and he first exhibited a group at the Academy the following year, Eleonora sucking the Poison from the Wound of Prince Edward. His Death of Boadicea, which was sent in unsuccessfully in 1844 to the Westminster Hall competition for commissions for the new Palace of Westminster, attracted an enthusiastic press. The event that set the course of Woolner's career occurred in 1847 when he met his new studio neighbour, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The two of them, along with John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, joined a sketching club called the Cyclographic Society. This foursome, together with three other young artists, formed the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood in 1848.

Woolner owned works by Wilson, including D217 Tivoli with the Temples of Vesta and the Sibyl and the Grand Cascade and 'A River Scene, formerly in the possession of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. and sold at the sale of his property, July 25, 1874'', sold by Christie's, 18 May 1895 (115 - 100 guineas, buyer unknown).
Significant institutions
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Royal Academy