Robins, Thomas S. (1810-1880) UK (7)

Catégorie : PEINTRES

RobinsTSVThomas Sewell Robins was probably born in London in 1810, although the date of his birth could have been 1809 since he was 70 when he died in 1880. Little is known of his childhood but, showing an early talent for art, he was admitted into the Royal Academy Schools on 22nd April, 1829.

His sponsor was James A. Northcote, a former pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Robins' professor for painting at the Academy was Thomas Phillips, and his lecturer for perspective was J.M.W.Turner. This was also the year he exhibited the first of 7 works at the annual R.A. exhibition. The first was a sketch of a head, one of the very few non-maritime works he ever exhibited.

00474SWorks on show at the R.A. were only on view to members so the Sussex Street Galleries were set up up as headquarters for the Society of British Artists (founded in 1823), primarily for the display of oil paintings. Robins displayed a total of 21 works at the Sussex Street Galleries, with prices ranging from 12 Guineas (£12.12s.0d) to £80 (for 'Wreck at the Mumbles, S. Wales' in 1875/6.

In 1839 he was elected an Associate of the New Watercolour Society, exhibiting 317 pictures there before resigning in 1866. He also exhibited 39 oils and watercolours at the British Institution between 1832 and 1863. He had 412 London exhibits of which 300 were watercolours and was a regular exhibitor at the prestigious Suffolk Street Gallery.

Robins specialised in coastal marine subjects, but some of his best works were large scale yachting scenes in the Solent. He also collaborated with several printmakers, including Thomas G. Dutton. Although based in London for most of his life Robins travelled extensively on the Continent, visiting France in 1842, Holland and Italy in 1845, c. 1850 the mediterranean, 1857 Holland and the Rhine, 1858 France and 1860 Antwerp . He is known to have traveled abroad to the Mediterranean about 1850 and visited the Rhine as well. In 1874 he briefly moved to Brighton, but returned to London two years later. He died in Kensington in 1880.

00501STS was one of the more accomplished practitioners of the sophisticated medium of marine watercolour. Primarily a watercolourist his oil paintings are considered quite rare. It is his marine watercolours, however, that are considered remarkable for their draughtsmanship and beauty. Throughout his career he painted yachting scenes as well as merchant and naval subjects. Aesthetically, Robins' paintings were described as having a delicacy and mystic gentleness that set them apart from the works of his contemporaries.

Examples of his work are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Birmingham Art Gallery, the British Museum, the City of Portsmouth Museum, Cartright Hall (Bradford), Howarth Museum (Accrington), Newport Art Gallery, the Williamson gallery (Birkenhead), and the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich exhibited a selection of TSR's work in 1971 ('Two Victorian Marine Painters - E. Duncan and T.S. Robins'). Judith Cockett of the Museum said, "Perhaps the most memorable of his works are his spirited paintings of fishing vessels and small craft on the open sea. In the best of these the translucent quality of the water and the sensitivity to light put him in a class of his own."

She also said, however, "At his worst, his subject matter becomes stereotyped and the sweetness of his style almost facile."


Thomas S. Robins - 7 Paintings and Lithographs
Thomas S. Robins
Schooner "America" 1851 Race
Thomas S. Robins
The cutter yacht Volante
Thomas S. Robins
The schooner yacht 'Sverige'
Thomas S. Robins
The yacht 'Maria'
Thomas S. Robins
The schooner yacht "America"
Thomas S. Robins
The Schooner Yacht America, 170 Tons. Winner of the RYS Cup value L100 Augt 22nd 1851
Thomas S. Robins
The 'Sverige' winning the Royal Thames Yacht Club match on 1 June 1853