Involved with success in both the arts and sciences, Robert William Sievier was an extraordinarily talented and versatile character. Having trained as an engraver, he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1818, and produced stipple engravings mostly after famous painters. He also learnt to model in clay and studied anatomy, and in 1823 decided to devote his full attention to sculpture, for which he clearly had a facility. He executed a considerable number of church monuments and memorials but was particularly successful as a portraitist, producing busts of, among others, Sir Thomas Lawrence (1830) and Prince Albert the Prince Consort (1842). He was much praised for his naturalistic style and ability to capture the likeness and characteristic expression of his sitters. His repertoire also included fancy pieces and ideal works, such as this Venus, as well as a chimney-piece depicting Bacchus and Ariadne at Chatsworth, and a Nymph preparing for the Bath in Cambridge. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1822 to 1844.
Despite his success as an engraver and sculptor, Sievier's fertile imagination and practical skill required greater challenges. He became fascinated by technology and science and was soon engrossed, to the exclusion of his artistic endeavours, in the production of 'elastic fabrics' becoming associated with the original india-rubber works, and involved in the early development of electric telegraphy. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1840.