Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire

Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire is a project launched in 2018, with only a few churches included at the moment.

Search all Craftsman Names by KeywordShow Help...

Peter Scheemakers

Peter Scheemakers or Pieter Scheemaeckers II or the Younger (1691 - 12 September 1781) was a Flemish (Belgian) sculptor who worked for most of his life in London. His public and church sculptures in a classicist style had an important influence on the development of modern sculpture in England. Scheemakers is perhaps best known for executing the William Kent-designed memorial to William Shakespeare which was erected in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey in 1740 as well as that to John Dryden in the same church. He was born in Antwerp and followed in the footsteps of his father, the sculptor Pieter Scheemaeckers. He served his formal apprenticeship in Copenhagen in Denmark where he studied for four years with the court sculptor Johann Adam Sturmberg (1683-1741). In 1715 he allegedly walked from Copenhagen to Rome (over 1500km) where he studied both classical and baroque styles of sculpture. In 1716 he sailed to England and settled in London where he befriended Laurent Delvaux (who had also studied in Rome). He and Delvaux worked there with another Flemish sculptor Pieter-Denis Plumier on a funeral monument to John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, which they delivered in 1722 after the death of Plumier. Scheemakers and Delvaux entered into a formal partnership and set up a workshop in Millbank, south of Westminster in London, in 1723. Their workshop produced many sober classical monuments and garden statuary in the Antique style. The partners sold their stock in the partnership and travelled to Rome in 1728. Scheemakers stayed there for two years to study both antique and recent masterpieces. Upon his return to England in 1730 Scheemakers restarted the Millbank workshop (in St Martin's Lane) on his own. His 'ideal' classical sculptures became very popular with the landowning class and the city merchants. He moved his workshop a few times: first to Old Palace Yard in 1736 and then in 1740 to Vine Street, where he remained active until his retirement in 1771. On retiral he returned to Antwerp where he died at the age of 90. He worked for a time with Francis Bird, and was the teacher of Henry Cheere and Charles Cope Trubshaw, amongst others. Joseph Nollekens joined his studio in 1747 and served his apprenticeship here, before leaving for Rome in 1762. Scheemakers' brother, Henry Scheemakers, and his son, Thomas Scheemakers, were both also sculptors. (Wikipedia)

 2 churches with features by Peter Scheemakers - Sculptor

Church Thumbnail
(Click Image to Enlarge)
St Mary Aylesbury †1749: Monument - Anne Barker Bell. Sculptor was Peter Scheemakers.
St Mary the Virgin Clifton Reynes 1752: Bust on Monument - Alexander Small. Bust is by the sculptor Peter Scheemakers. Sculptor was Peter Scheemakers.
Top of Page

Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire

All photographs by Michael G Hardy unless stated otherwise

©2017-2023 Michael G Hardy