Born in a London suburb in 1914, Lynn Chadwick was trained and worked as a draftsman in various architectural firms, sometimes drawing sections for London shop-fronts. It was not until after service in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy in World War II that he tried sculpture, initially of movable objects. His first mobile, in 1947, attracted admiration, commissions, and the beginnings of fame. In 1953 his first solid sculpture was produced, and he won an honorable mention plus a prize for The Unknown Political Prisoner in an international sculpture competition.
In 1956, Chadwick won the International Prize for Sculpture at the XXVIII Biennale, in Venice, and the cascade of honors since then still has not ceased. In 1993 he was named Commandeur, Ordre des Arts et Lettres, in France, having been Commander, Order of the British Empire (CBE), since 1964.