John Charles Robinson Biography

John Charles Robinson




Sir John Charles Robinson was born on December 16, 1824 in Nottingham, England.  He studied painting in Paris with Michel Drolling. He was appointed, with the help of William Dryce, R.A., to the first government mastership of design in England, at Hanley, in the Staffordshire Potteries.

As an artist Robinson is perhaps best known as a painter of flowers and landscapes and an etcher. After 17 years as Superintendent of the Art Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, he became surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures.

In 1866 he took up etching, showing a poetic vision of Dorset and elsewhere. A contemporary and close friend of Sir Frances Seymour Haden, Robinson’s work is primarily concerned with the atmospheric effects of weather. Like Haden Robinson was a wealthy gentleman artist who did not depend on the sale of his work to provide income.

He exhibited at the Society of Painter-Etchers between 1894 and 1907 and his prints were only noted as being “for sale” in 1897. Arthur Hind catalogued 30 of Robinson’s known prints, done between 1866 and 1907, which was published in the Print Collector’s Quarterly, Volume 8, No. 3, October, 1921.

Etchings by Robinson are rare and do not appear to have been editioned. During his lifetime only a few of his prints were offered for sale, the majority of his work was distributed by the artist amongst his friends. His work remained mostly unknown to the public.

Sir John Charles Robinson died in Swanage, Dorset, England on April 19, 1912.