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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

James Roberts

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Not a great deal is known about James Roberts, an English painter who was active in Paris throughout his life. Roberts studied there from around 1817 and later worked with Neoclassicist Michel-Martin Drolling (1786–1851). In 1824, he exhibited views of Rouen and Beauvais at the Paris Salon and became a drawing master in the Faubourg St. Germain. At the beginning of the 1848 Revolution, Roberts went to London, where he painted for Queen Victoria until 1861. The Royal Collection contains six of Roberts’s paintings made for Victoria, Princess Royal, as a gift from her brother Albert as mementos to take with her to Berlin upon her marriage. These drawings include views of Balmoral, Buckingham Palace, Osborne, and Windsor Castle. Roberts also colored photographs, including royal portraits. (JGK)