Thomas Stirling Lee

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Thomas Stirling Lee
Born(1857-03-16)16 March 1857
Lambeth, London, England
Died 29 June 1916(1916-06-29) (aged 59)
St George's Hospital, Knightsbridge, London, England
Nationality English
Known for Sculpture

Thomas Stirling Lee (London 16 March 1857 – 29 June 1916 London) was an English sculptor, specialising in reliefs and portrait heads. [1]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Sculpture Branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions

Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving and modelling, in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast.


Early life

Lee was born in Lambeth, London on 16 March 1857, the son of John Swanwick Lee, a surveyor. [2] He was educated at Westminster School and then served as an apprentice in the studio of John Birnie Philip. [2] [3]

Lambeth district in Central London, England

Lambeth is a district in Central London, England, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Charing Cross. The population of the London Borough of Lambeth was 303,086 in 2011. The area experienced some slight growth in the medieval period as part of the manor of Lambeth Palace. By the Victorian era the area had seen significant development as London expanded, with dense industrial, commercial and residential buildings located adjacent to one another. The changes brought by World War II altered much of the fabric of Lambeth. Subsequent development in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has seen an increase in the number of high-rise buildings. The area is home to the International Maritime Organization.

Westminster School school in Westminster, London, England

Westminster School is an independent day and boarding school in London, England, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. With origins before the 12th century, the educational tradition of Westminster probably dates back as far as 960, in line with the Abbey's history. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted at age sixteen into the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders, most of whom go home at weekends, after Saturday morning school. The school motto, Dat Deus Incrementum, is taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 3:6.

John Birnie Philip was a nineteenth-century English sculptor. Much of his work was carried out for the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Lee studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1876–80, where he won both a Gold Medal and a Travelling Scholarship. [1] In 1880–1881 he studied under Pierre-Jules Cavelier at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and then studied in Rome until 1883. [1]

Pierre-Jules Cavelier French academic sculptor

Pierre-Jules Cavelier was a French academic sculptor.

École des Beaux-Arts influential art schools in France

An École des Beaux-Arts is one of a number of influential art schools in France. The most famous is the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, now located on the left bank in Paris, across the Seine from the Louvre, at 14 rue Bonaparte. The school has a history spanning more than 350 years, training many of the great artists in Europe. Beaux Arts style was modeled on classical "antiquities", preserving these idealized forms and passing the style on to future generations.


Lee's commission for 28 panels for the exterior of St George's Hall, Liverpool, resulting from an open competition held by Liverpool City Council in 1882, [2] is regarded as his most important, [2] but it was the subject of controversy, [2] when the first two featured naked girls, [2] depicting "the child Justice" and "the girl Justice". [3] Lee only completed six of the 28 panels, but was subsequently commissioned to make two, and oversee all, of a further set of six on the theme of 'National Prosperity'. [2]

St Georges Hall, Liverpool performing arts venue in Liverpool, England

St George's Hall is on Lime Street in the centre of the English city of Liverpool, opposite Lime Street railway station. It is a building in Neoclassical style which contains concert halls and law courts, and is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. On the east side of the hall, between it and the railway station, is St George's Plateau and on the west side are St John's Gardens. The hall is included in the William Brown Street conservation area.

Liverpool City Council Local government body in England

Liverpool City Council is the governing body for the city of Liverpool in Merseyside, England. It consists of 90 councillors, three for each of the city's 30 wards.

He was a member of the National Portrait Society from 1910–1915, [1] a member of the Chelsea Arts Club [2] and a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers. [4]

Chelsea Arts Club club in Chelsea, London

The Chelsea Arts Club is a private members club at 143 Old Church Street in Chelsea, London with a membership of over 3,800, including artists, sculptors, architects, writers, designers, actors, musicians, photographers, and filmmakers. The club was established on 21 March 1891, as a rival to the older Arts Club in Mayfair, on the instigation of the artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who had been a member of the older club.

The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers was a union of professional artists that existed from 1898 to 1925, "To promote the study, practice, and knowledge of sculpture, painting, etching, lithographing, engraving, and kindred arts in England or elsewhere...". It came to be known simply as The International. The society organised exhibitions, some for members only and some open to others, and social events such as musical evenings and soirées. The exhibitions were held in a number of London venues, and in other cities around England, including Nottingham and Manchester. Its founder and first president was James McNeill Whistler. On his death, the presidency was taken up by Auguste Rodin, with John Lavery as vice-president. The society contributed £500 towards the cost of Whistler's memorial.

Lee died at St George's Hospital, Knightsbridge, London [2] on 29 June 1916. [5] His friends subscribed to a fund for a bronze panel on the family vault at New Southgate. [2]

St Georges, University of London medical school

St George's, University of London, is a medical school located in Tooting in South London and is a constituent college of the University of London. St George's has its origins in 1733, and was the second institution in England to provide formal training courses for doctors. St George's affiliated with the University of London soon after the latter's establishment in 1836.

Knightsbridge road and district in London

Knightsbridge is a residential and retail district in West London, south of Hyde Park. It is identified in the London Plan as one of two international retail centres in London, alongside the West End.

New Southgate district

New Southgate is a residential suburb straddling three Outer London Boroughs: a small part of the east of Barnet, a south-west corner of Enfield and in loosest definitions, based on nearest railway stations, a small northern corner of Haringey in North London, England where estates merge into Bounds Green.


Statue of Charles Gore Charles Gore, First Bishop of Birmingham - - 1591651.jpg
Statue of Charles Gore

Lee's work includes:

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Thomas Stirling Lee". Tate. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Thomas Stirling Lee". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951. Glasgow University . Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Thomas Stirling Lee". The Victorian Web. 2013-04-12. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  4. "The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951. Glasgow University . Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  5. Waters, Grant M. (1974). Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900-1950. Eastbourne: Eastbourne Fine Art.
  6. Noszlopy, George T. (1998). Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield. Public Sculpture of Britain. 2. Liverpool University Press. ISBN   0-85323-682-8.