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Robert Anning Bell RA RWS HRIBA (1863-1933)

Robert Anning Bell, RA RWS HRIBA (1863-1933)

Robert Anning Bell was born on 14 April 1863 and educated at University College School in London. At the age of fifteen he was articled for two years to an architect uncle before studying at the Royal Academy Schools, the Westminster School of Art (under Fred Brown), in Paris (under Aimé Morot) and, later, in Italy. On his return from Paris, he shared a studio with portrait sculptor George Frampton and together they developed a line in hand-coloured plaster reliefs, in imitation of Della Robbia. His early architectural training and his close friendship with architects and sculptors made him the ideal artist for decorative schemes, and by the eighteen-nineties he had become an important figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement. His early illustrative work, in pen and ink and watercolour, includes a number of Shakespeare-related volumes: Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare (1899), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1895), The Tempest (1901) and Shakespeare’s H���eroines (1901).