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 Robert Walker Macbeth  (1848 - 1910)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom/Scotland      Known for: rural landscape, genre painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
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Robert Walker Macbeth (30 September 1848, Glasgow - 1 November 1910, Golders Green, London)

He was a Scottish painter, etcher and watercolorists, specializing in pastoral landscape and the rustic genre.  His father was the portrait painter Norman Macbeth and his niece Ann Macbeth.

Macbeth studied in London, producing realistic everyday scenes and working for The Graphic magazine.  He painted in the Lincolnshire and Somerset countryside, in works influenced by those of George Hemming Mason and Frederick Walker.  His The Cast Shoe was bought by the Chantrey Bequest in 1890, and is now at Tate Britain.

From 1871 Macbeth exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Grosvenor Gallery, New Gallery and the Fine Art Society in London.  There were also exhibitions in the regions at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in Birmingham, the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and Manchester City Art Gallery.

In the same year (1871) Macbeth was made an associate of the Royal Watercolor Society (RWS) becoming a full member in 1901.  He became a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (RE) in 1880, and an honorary member in 1909.  In 1882 he was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) and in 1883 was elected to be a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI).  In 1883 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy (RA), becoming a full member in 1903.

He married Lydia Esther Bates on 9 August 1887 with whom he had a daughter, Phillis Macbeth, better known as the actress Lydia Bilbrook.  However, it has been suggested that she was actually the illegitimate daughter of the actor Herbert Beerbohm Tree.[1]

1. [1] Bilbrook on the National Portrait Gallery website

Caw, J. L. Scottish Painting 1620-1908, (T.C. & E.C. Jack, 1908).
Wood, Christopher, The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Woodbridge, 1971
Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner. The Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940 (Woodbridge, 1980)
Walkley, Giles. Artists' houses in London 1764-1914 (Aldershot, 1994).


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