Home » Benjamin Robert Haydon – Painter Biography

Benjamin Robert Haydon – Painter Biography

Benjamin Robert Haydon:

Birth and Death

Benjamin Robert Hayden was born on the 26th of January, 1786. He passed away on the 22nd of June, 1846.

Family life

Benjamin Robert Haydon was born in Wimpole Street, Plymouth. His father was a printer and publisher who belonged to an archaic Devonshire family.

Sarah Cobley, the mother of Haydon, was the daughter of the curate of Shillingford and rector of Dodbrooke, Rev. B. Cobley.

Benjamin Robert Haydon Portrait
Benjamin Robert Haydon was a brilliant painter

Haydon’s father, as well as his grandfather, were fond of painting which must have been an inspiration for the young boy.

Haydon, however, drew inspiration from other sources, too. His teacher, Dr. Bidlake, and a Neapolitan named Fenzi, who was employed by his father to bind books, encouraged him to paint.

School Life of Robert Haydon

Haydon had an independent mind and a lot of determination. His desire to succeed went hand in hand with these qualities as he was growing up. He was dramatic with his school friends while he shut himself up in the attic to paint and to lecture himself.

His father lets him read the books in his shop and the young Robert showed interest in the lives of great men.

Benjamin Robert Haydon
Benjamin Robert Haydon

His father, to discipline him more, sent him to a grammar school at Plympton. He was put under Rev. W. Hayes till 1801.

He learned Greek, French, and Latin, and was the head boy of his school. He indulged in copying caricatures and painting on the walls while teaching his schoolmates about art and paintings.

Benjamin Robert Haydon Life After

He became an apprentice to his father before he almost lost his eyesight to inflammation of eyes. However, this failed to discourage him and he continued to work towards his aim of becoming a painter. He learned anatomy from Albinus during this time.

Benjamin Robert Haydon - Venus and Anchises

He left for London on the 13th of May, 1804. Haydon gradually became popular with the patrons of art who commissioned him to paint some brilliant pictures.

Benjamin Robert Haydon Paintings

He started associating with Prince Hoare, Fuseli and Northcote, Opie and Smirkie. His paintings were appreciated and put up by the Royal Academy.

However, his health began to fail when his painting, ‘Dentatus’ was hung in the octagon room in the Royal Academy. Haydon could never get over this insult.

A painting by Haydon
A painting by Haydon

Haydon married Mary Hymens, a beautiful widow he loved dearly. However, his creditors began taking serious and strict steps against him. He was imprisoned before and shortly after his marriage.


Joseph and Mary resting on the Road to Egypt.



The judgment of Solomon

Christ’s entry into Jerusalem

Christ’s agony in the Garden


The Crucifixion

Pharaoh dismissing Moses

Venus and Anchises

Alexander and Bucephalus


The Reform Banquet



The death of Euelis


The Mock Election

Chairing the Member

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