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William Heath Robinson

© the copyright holder. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Robinson came from a dynasty of wood-engravers and commercial artists. He studied at Islington Art School and the Royal Academy Schools, and in 1903 married the daughter of the editor of the Penny Illustrated Paper. Influenced by art nouveau line drawings and Japanese prints, he became illustrator of the Arabian Nights, Rabelais and Shakespeare. He found his niche with drawings of absurd machines performing banal tasks.

National Portrait Gallery, London


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on board

  • Measurements

    40.6 x 30.2 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    Bequeathed by the sitter's daughter, Joan Brinsmead, 1986


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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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