and The Wassail Bowl; all afterwards engraved. For Mr. James Haywood, M.P., he executed a series of drawings illustrative of student life at Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, London, and Paris; while two vast subjects, The Origin of Music and The Triumph of Music (each twenty feet wide by nine feet high), were painted for the Earl of Hardwick, and are, or lately were, in the music saloon at Wimpole, in Cambridgeshire. His pictures were seventy-one in number, twenty-five of which were engraved. On the whole, therefore, Robert William Buss might afford to bear the refusal of Charles Dickens's patronage with equanimity.
The paintings and etchings of Robert William Buss evince a strong leaning in the direction of comic art, a taste which prompted him, in 1853, to deliver at various towns in the United Kingdom a course of very successful and interesting lectures on caricature and graphic satire, illustrated by several hundred examples executed by himself. In 1874, the year before his death, he published for the amusement of his friends, and for private circulation only, the substance of these lectures, under the title of "English Graphic Satire and its Relation to Different Styles of Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving." The numerous illustrations to this work were those drawn for his lectures by the artist, and reproduced for his book by the process of photo-lithography. So far as comic art and caricaturists of the nineteenth century are concerned, the author has comparatively little to say; but the work is valuable as regards the subject generally, and might have been published with advantage to the public. The artist delivered also lectures on "The Beautiful and the Picturesque," as well as on "Fresco Painting."
Mr. Buss, if not very original as a comic designer, possessed nevertheless a keen sense of humour. One of his pictures (engraved by H. Rolls), entitled Time and Tide Wait for no Man, represents an artist, sketching by the sea-shore, so absorbed in the contemplation of nature that he remains unconscious of the fast inflowing tide, and deaf to the warnings of the fisherman who is seen hailing him from the beach.
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