David Roberts

1796 - 1864

Rococo Painter

David Roberts Biography

David Roberts established his reputation as a topographical landscapist with a particular talent for rendering architectural features. Born at Stockbridge in 1796, the son of a Scottish cobbler, he received no formal artistic training, but served an apprenticeship as a house painter. He began his career as a scene painter, first with Bannister’s travelling circus, and then with theatres in Glasgow, Edinburgh, York and London. He designed the scenery for the first London production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Covent Garden in 1827. Roberts also painted panoramas and dioramas, a favourite entertainment of the mid-nineteenth century.