Vierpyl, Simon (c.1725–1810), sculptor and stone carver, was born in London of Dutch parents, and studied sculpture with the brothers Peter and Henry Scheemakers. He went to Rome about 1750 and there came to the attention of James Caulfeild (qv), 1st earl of Charlemont, who was on the grand tour with his travelling companion and tutor the Rev. Edward Murphy. Caulfeild employed him to make copies after the antique from the public galleries and private collections in the city, including one of the ‘fighting gladiator’ originally intended as the focal point of the gardens of Charlemont's estate in Marino, an idea later replaced by the Casino temple. For Murphy, he modelled in terracotta twenty-two statues and seventy-eight busts of Roman emperors, which were completed in 1755 and shipped to Ireland. A letter of reply from Vierpyl, dated 15 August 1774, to Murphy's enquiry about the value of the collection, leaves no doubt about the artist's feelings on the subject. He stated: ‘I am certain that no eminent artist will hereafter stand four years, winter and summer (as I have done) in the chilling Capitoline Museum to model so many busts and statues with his own hand, except he be tempted with such reward as none but a monarch, or other man of vast superfluous wealth, can conveniently pay’ (RIA Ms 12.R.13, no. 1). After Murphy's death in 1777 the busts passed to Charlemont, and adorned the Rockingham library of Charlemont House, until, in 1868, they were presented to the RIA by the 3rd earl of Charlemont.
At Charlemont's request in 1756, Vierpyl went to Dublin to supervise the construction of the Casino, a garden temple designed by the Scottish architect William Chambers (qv) for his estate at Marino. He also carved the exquisite ornamental detail on the Portland stone, assisted by his pupil Edward Smyth (qv). The pedestals supporting the lions are particularly noteworthy, as are the urns on the parapet, which also functioned as chimneys, and the four statues of the deities Ceres, Bacchus, Apollo and Venus on the attic cornices. Chambers, who loved elegant, decorative Roman detail, was greatly pleased with his work.
He worked on other designs by Chambers for Charlemont's townhouse, later the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin. He supervised many of the improvements made by Lady Louisa Conolly (qv) to Castletown House and with Alexander King constructed the main stairs, a vast cantilevered, brass-banistered staircase leading to the piano nobile (completed in 1763). His stone carving can be found on many of Dublin's major buildings, which were under construction at this time, including the Royal Exchange (1769), latterly City Hall, and the Blue Coat School in Oxmantown (1773), latterly the headquarters of the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. Vierpyl, in white working jacket, can be seen in a 1779 painting by John Trotter, talking to the architect of the Blue Coat School, Thomas Ivory (qv), with the board of governors to the left and right of the picture. They were being told to scale down the plans for the school, because of a shortage of funds. Nevertheless his superb detailing can still be seen. He leased a house on Bachelor's Walk and in an adjoining property had a stone-cutting yard in 1779. While he is mainly regarded as an ornamental stone carver, he made three marble busts for TCD, one being a posthumous portrait of Claudius Gilbert (qv), fellow and vice-provost of the college, for which he was paid £34 2s. 6d. These are in the Long Room of the Old Library. Vierpyl and Richard Cranfield (1731–1809), a woodcarver, built many small but elegant houses around the city, such as the City Assembly House (1765) in South William St. The Society of Artists, of which they were both members, met in the octagonal exhibition room of this house.
His first marriage was to Frances Dickson, at St Andrew's church on 26 December 1758. Frances, the niece of the Rev. Dr Henry of Kildare St, was said to have been an attractive, good-natured, and wealthy woman. She threw herself out of the top window of their house in Bachelor's Walk. He then married Mary Burrows, on 30 August 1779. His two sons from his first marriage, William and Charles, were trained in their father's profession. When he retired he moved to Athy, where he died 16 February 1810 at the age of 85.