William Grant Stevenson

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William Grant Stevenson
William Wallace Statue , Aberdeen2.jpg
Statue of Sir William Wallace in Aberdeen with the dome of St Mark's behind
Ratho, Midlothian Scotland
Known forSculpture, portrait painting

William Grant Stevenson (1849–1919) was a Scottish sculptor and portrait painter.

Life and work[edit]

Caleb Balderstone on the north side of the Scott Monument
Memorial to William Grant Stevenson, by Henry Snell Gamley

Stevenson was born in Ratho in Midlothian. His elder brother David Watson Stevenson (1842–1904) was also a sculptor and an elected member of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Stevenson is most famous for his colossal bronze figure of Sir William Wallace, which stands on a high plinth of roughly hewn pink granite overlooking Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen. His bronze Robert Burns exists in at least two casts: the original is in Kilmarnock in Scotland as the centrepiece of the Burns Monument, Kilmarnock, and a copy is located on the east side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1]

Stevenson had his studio at 13 Dalry Road and lived nearby at 63 Haymarket Terrace.[2]

His most public work is his contribution of three figures to the Scott Monument on Princes Street in Edinburgh: Caleb Balderstone, Peter Peebles, and The Abbess. The three are somewhat lost within the huge complexity of the building, and its total of 68 figurative statues.

Stevenson also immortalized great figures of his time. One of his subjects was James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk (1827-1905). In the portrayal the Earl is wearing his collar as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, the highest honour which the monarch can bestow in Scotland. The image is an uncompromising image of a man who was considered a powerful and romantic figure who had travelled the wilds of 19th century Canada.

Stevenson's bust of the Earl of Southesk

In his later life Stevenson's studio was at 4 Belford Road near Dean Bridge. He lived at 8 Osborne Terrace.[3]

He published the book Wee Johnnie Paterson in 1915. He is buried with his brother David Watson Stevenson, also a sculptor, in the Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh. The stone lies in the south-west section of the original cemetery and carries a bronze portrait of William by Henry Snell Gamley. His wife Jane Dickson (1855–1927) is also buried with him.

A painting of William Grant Stevenson by Charles Martin Hardie is held in the National Gallery of Scotland.


  1. ^ "Robert Burns, (sculpture)". Art Inventories Catalog-SIRIS. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  2. ^ Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory 1889-90
  3. ^ Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory 1911-12

External links[edit]