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Robert Dudley: Artist

Posted in Art, Artist on Sunday, 24 July 2011

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Robert Dudley was a British artist, about whom almost nothing appears to be known.

Dudley’s dates as usually given as fl. 1858-93 or, more specifically, as 1826-1900, although the latter is wrong.

picture, Robert Dudley, artist, illustrator, Shakespeare

Illustration from Much Ado About Nothing by Robert Dudley

Robert Charles Dudley was born in 1826 and baptized on 27 September 1826 in Hackney, Middlesex, the son of Charles Stokes Dudley, an Irish provision merchant, writer and philanthropist, and his wife Sarah (nee Haycock), who were living at Chatham Place, Hackney. Charles Dudley was involved in the Bible Society, which he turned from a loss-maker into a substantial business.

Robert, the second of thirteen children, was educated at Spring Hill House, Millbrook, Hampshire, and by 1851 was working as an architect and lodging in St. Pancras, London. Ten years later, he was living at 32 Sussex Place, Kensington, and his occupation was given as “artist in painting”.

His illustrations appeared in only a handful of books, including The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments illustrated by a selection from Raphael’s pictures in the Vatican freely adapted and drawing on wood by Robert Dudley (Ward and Lock, 1862), A Memorial of the Marriage of HRH Albert Edward Prince of Wales and HRH Alexandra Princess of Denmark by W. H. Russell (Day & Son, 1863), The Atlantic Telegraph by Sir W. H. Russell (Day & Son, 1866) and Shakespeare’s Pictures (E. Nister, 1896), some of the latter illustrated by Ambrose Dudley.

Dudley lived at 31 Lansdown Road, Notting Hill, Middlesex, from the 1860s on, where he died on 28 April 1909, survived by his wife, Amelia (nee Hunt, her Christian name variously given in census returns as Ann or Amy), whom he married in 1859. They had two sons, Guildford Dudley (1860-1933), named after another of Robert Dudley’s brothers, and Robert Ambrose Dudley (1867?-1951), who was also an artist and illustrator.

Many more illustrations by Robert Dudley can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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