Baker, Anselm (DNB00)

BAKER, ANSELM (1834–1885), artist, first acquired a knowledge of drawing and painting at Messrs. Hardman's studios in Birmingham. He became a Cistercian monk at Mount St. Bernard's Abbey, Leicestershire, in 1857, and died there on 11 Feb. 1885. As a heraldic artist he was unequalled in this country, and his work was eagerly sought for by those who appreciated the beauty of mediæval blazonry. About two-thirds of the coats-of-arms in Foster's 'Peerage' were drawn by him, and are signed 'F.A.' (Frater Anselm). He also executed the mural paintings in the chapel of St. Scholastica's Priory, Atherstone; in St. Winifred's, Sheepshed; in the Temple in Garendon Park, and in the Lady and Infirmary chapels at Mount St. Bernard's Abbey. The 'Hortus Animæ' and 'Horæ Diurnæ,' published at London, and several beautiful works brought out at Mechlin and Tournai, bear witness to his inventive genius. His 'Liber Vitæ', a record of the benefactors of St. Bernard's Abbey, is magnificently illustrated with pictures of the arms and patron saints of the benefactors. He also left unpublished 'The Armorial Bearings of English Cardinals' and The Arms of the Cistercian Houses of England.'

[Tablet, 21 Feb. 1885; Athenæum, 21 Feb. 1885; Academy, 21 Feb. 1885.]

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