Robert Anning Bell was a painter, print-maker, sculptor of reliefs, art teacher, illustrator and designer.
Bell was a notable figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement and was active in the Art Workers Guild and the Arts and Crafts Society. Whilst Bell worked in a wide variety of media (oil, watercolour, stained glass), he is remembered for his leading role in the revival of tempera as a medium. Having begun his career in architecture, Bell went on to study at the Royal Academy Schools in 1881 and the Westminster School of Art.
Later, he travelled and studied in Paris and Italy. From 1885, he was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. He was also a member of the New English Art Club (1892-1902). A thirty-year teaching career at University College, Liverpool, the Glasgow School of Art and Royal College of Art followed and made him an influential figure in both painting, bas relief sculpture and the decorative arts.
Wood, Christopher, Victorian Artists, Suffolk 1995; Skipwith, Peyton, 'Robert Anning Bell ', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed 2003); http://www.getty.edu (accessed 2003).