Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/467

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365
R. W. BUSS.

although the design was his, not one line of the etchings which bear his name are due to the artist's point.[1]

The father of Robert William was an engraver and enameller, and under his directions he acquired a knowledge of this technical branch of art; but evincing a taste and preference for drawing and painting, he became a pupil of George Clint, A.R.A., under whose direction he studied subject and portrait painting. He painted fifteen theatrical portraits for Mr. Cumberland in illustration of his "British Drama," and a collection of these works was afterwards exhibited at that melancholy monument to past exhibitions, the Colosseum in the Regent's Park. He was employed by Charles Knight in the illustrations to his "Shakespeare," "London," "Old England," "Chaucer," and the now forgotten "Penny Magazine," for all of which publications he executed many designs on wood.

It must not be supposed because Robert William Buss was not considered the right man to illustrate "Pickwick," that he was therefore an indifferent draughtsman. His finest book etchings are probably those which he executed for Harrison Ainsworth's novel of "The Court of James II."; but in a higher and far more ambitious walk in art he was not only more successful, but achieved in his time a considerable reputation. Among his pictures may be mentioned one of Christmas in the Olden Time, which, apart from its merits as a painting, showed that he possessed considerable antiquarian knowledge. Other works of his are, The Frosty Morning, purchased by Lord Charles Townshend; The Stingy Traveller, bought by the Duchess of St. Albans; The Wooden Walls of Old England, the property of Lord Coventry; Soliciting a Vote, and Chairing the Member; The Musical Bore; The Frosty Reception; Master's Out; Time and Tide Wait for no Man; Shirking the Plate The First of September; The Introduction of Tobacco; The Biter Bit; The Romance; and Satisfaction. For Mr. Hogarth, of the Haymarket, he painted four small subjects illustrative of Christmas, entitled, The Waits; Bringing in the Boar's Head; The Yule Log,

  1. See Mr. Alfred G. Buss, in "Notes and Queries," April 24th, 1875.