William Heath Robinson(1872-1944), Cartoonist and book illustrator
Sitter in 4 portraits
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. His sense of the ridiculous boosted morale in both World Wars. In 1934, the full-scale working house for 'the Gadget Family' was built from his drawings for the Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia. His name is used to describe complicated, ramshackle and usually pointless machines.
Develop your art skills
Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.
Hold Still photography workshop
Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise.
Draw Like a Renaissance Master
Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.