Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Buss, Robert William

BUSS, ROBERT WILLIAM (1804–1875), subject painter, was born in London on 4 Aug. 1804. He served an apprenticeship with his father, who was an engraver and enameller, and then studied painting under George Clint, A.R.A. For some years he confined himself to painting theatrical portraits, and many of the leading actors of the day sat to him, including Macready, Harley, Buckstone, Miss Tree, and Mrs. Nisbet. Later he essayed historical and humorous subjects, and was a frequent exhibitor of pictures of this class at the Royal Academy, British Institution, and Suffolk Street between 1826 and 1859. Among his principal works were ‘Watt's First Experiments on Steam,’ engraved by James Scott; ‘Soliciting a Vote,’ engraved by Lupton, 1834; ‘The Stingy Traveller,’ engraved by J. Brown, 1845; and ‘The Bitter Morning,’ lithographed by T. Fairland, 1834. He also contributed to the Westminster competition a cartoon of ‘Prince Henry and Judge Gascoigne.’ Buss illustrated Knight's editions of ‘London,’ Chaucer, Shakespeare, and ‘Old England.’ He published lectures on ‘Comic and Satiric Art,’ ‘Fresco,’ ‘The Beautiful Picturesques,’ and printed privately in 1874 ‘English Graphic Satire,’ with etchings by himself. He at one time edited ‘The Fine Art Almanack.’ He died at Camden Town on 26 Feb. 1875.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School, 8vo, 1878; Athenæum, 1875, p. 366.]

L. F.