Walter Scott


Home | Corson Collection | Biography | Works | Image Collection | Recent Publications | Correspondence | Forthcoming Events | Links | E-texts | Contact

Henry Robinson (fl. 1827-72)

Relatively little is known of the prolific portrait engraver Henry Robinson. His earliest recorded works are engravings in steel for Horace Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting (1827) and for the annuals The Amulet (1827, 1828) and The Anniversary (1829). Between 1829 and 1835 he engraved no fewer than sixty-two plates for Edmund Lodge's Portraits of Illustrious Personages and produced seven further plates for Robert Chambers's Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen (1834). Other publications which featured Robinson's work as a portrait engraver include John Wilson and Chambers's Land of Burns (1840), Charles Heath's Book of Beauty (1841), and Finden's Gallery of Beauty (1841). In the 1840s Robinson worked on scriptural engravings (mainly after the Old Masters) for the Imperial Family Bible (1844), G. N. Wright's Gallery of Engravings (1844-46), S. C. Hall's Gems of European Art (1846), and J. Kitto's Gallery of Scriptural Engravings (1846-49). He also engraved two works after Sir David Wilkie, A Persian Prince and A Circassian Lady, for The Wilkie Gallery (1849). Some reference works identify Henry Robinson with the portrait and figure engraver John Henry Robinson (1796-1871), but Basil Hunnisett argues that as several publications include stylistically different plates signed by 'H. Robinson' and 'J. H. Robinson', they are clearly separate artists (A Dictionary of British Steel Engravers, p. 108).

Henry Robinson engraved both portraits of Scott and imaginary portraits of his fictional heroines. He engraved the 1830 portrait of Scott by Sir John Watson Gordon for Landscape-Historical Illustrations of Scotland and the Waverley Novels (1836) and an unfinished portrait of Scott by the same artist for Blackie & Son (1837). For Illustrations, Landscape, Historical, and Antiquarian, to the Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. (183-?), he engraved Clara de Clare (Marmion) after Thomas Phillips. For Portraits of the Principal Female Characters in the Waverley Novels (1834), he engraved Flora MacIvor (Waverley) and Alice Lee (Woodstock) after A. E. Chalon, Lucy Ashton (The Bride of Lammermoor) after William Etty, Margaret Ramsay (The Fortunes of Nigel) after William Boxall, and Isabelle de Croye (Quentin Durward) after S. J. Rochard. For The Waverley Gallery of the Principal Female Characters in Sir Walter Scott's Romances (1841), Robinson engraved Catharine [sic] Seyton (The Abbot) after William Fisher and Alice Lee (Woodstock) after J. M. Wright. Finally, for Scott and Scotland (H. I. and A. Stevens, 1845), Robinson prepared a plate of Edith Bellenden (Old Mortality) after Louisa Sharpe.

Corson: Scott Papers/80
Click on the thumbnails to see Henry Robinson's engravings of Isabelle de Croye after S. J. Rochard (left) and Lucy Ashton after William Etty (right).
Corson P.2959

For further works by Robinson, see the Image Collection.


  • Engen, Rodney K. Dictionary of Victorian Engravers, Print Publishers and their Works (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, c1979)
  • Hunnisett, Basil. A Dictionary of British Steel Engravers (Leigh-on-Sea: F. Lewis, 1980)
  • Thieme, Ulrich, and Felix Becker (eds). Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler: von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Leipzig: Seemann, 1907-50)

Back to Index

Image Database

Last updated: 23-Mar-2009
© Edinburgh University Library