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William Wyon, English engraver

William Wyon, English engraver

C006/6187

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

William Wyon (1795-1851), English engraver. Wyon was born at Birmingham and, after studying art, was apprenticed to his father, also an artist, at the age of fourteen. He grew in skill as an engraver of medals and was considerably influenced by the relief sculpture of Flaxman. From 1828 he was the chief engraver at the Royal Mint and was responsible for some of the most iconic official portraiture in the country. Most famous is the portrsit of the young Queen Victoria that appeared on penny coins from 1838 to 1860, and which was copied to appear on the penny black, the world's first adhesive postage stamp. Wyon was a neoclassicist artist, with his sitters appearing as if from Roman or Greek legend. Wyon also designed medals, including those awarded at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

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