Frederick Cayley Robinson ARA RWS (1862-1927)

F. Cayley Robinson.

The Symbolist painter and illustrator Frederick Cayley Robinson was born in Brentford upon Thames, and studied in the St John's Wood Academy and then (1885) in the Royal Academy Schools. At the end of the 1880s he sailed around the English coast, reflected in the subjects of many of his paintings. From 1891 he spent 3 years in the Academy Julian, Paris, and then lived variously in Florence, Newlyn in Cornwall, and elsewhere, before settling finally in London in Holland Park. From 1914-24, he also typically spent three months of each year in Scotland, where he held a Professorship at Glasgow School of Art. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1895, and became RWS in 1918 and ARA in 1921.

Cayley Robinson was much influenced by the works of Burne Jones, and following on from his time in Paris, by those of Puvis de Chavannes. Typically, his paintings are deliberately flat compositions in tempera or watercolour, often Symbolist in style, favourite subjects including water scenes, and girls in interiors. Apparently his oeuvre also includes some early realist paintings. As well as painting, Cayley Robinson worked as an illustrator, theatre designer and decorator, and produced murals for Middlesex Hospital from 1915-20.

Collections of works by Cayley Robinson are in the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

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