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 Robert Anning Bell



Robert Anning Bell         Pages: 1

(b London, 14 April 1863; d London, 27 Nov 1933).

English decorative artist and painter. He was articled to an architect and studied at Westminster School of Art under Frederick Brown and at the Royal Academy Schools. Later he worked in the studio of Aimé Morot in Paris and travelled to Italy. Bell belonged to the group of artist–craftsmen who brought about the last flowering of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. He painted in oil and watercolour and was among the pioneers of the revival of the use of tempera. He was an illustrator and also worked in stained glass and mosaic. He is best known for a series of bas-reliefs in coloured plaster, a group of which was used in the interior decoration at Le Bois de Moutiers, a house in Varengeville, Normandy, designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1898. Bell’s understanding of early Italian art underpinned his work in mosaic, a medium he used to great effect in three public commissions in London: the Horniman Museum, Westminster Cathedral and St Stephen’s Hall. He was an active member, and in 1921 Master, of the ART WORKERS’ GUILD, as well as a member of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, helping to organize the latter’s shows in London, Turin, Brussels and Paris. He was an instructor in painting and design at University College, Liverpool, in 1894, chief of the design section at Glasgow School of Art from 1911, and Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art, London, from 1918 to 1924. He was elected ARA in 1914 and RA in 1922. His wife, Laura Richard-Troncy, a pupil of Alphonse Legros, assisted him with gesso-work and gilding.





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