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Biography

Barbara Robinson was born in London in 1928.

Barbara RobinsonShe was born at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a palace for military veterans built by Sir Christopher Wren on the orders of King Charles II, where her father, Major William Lloyd Jones, DSO, Légion d'Honneur, was Senior Captain of Invalids.  Her mother, Norah, studied Music at the Royal Academy of Music, under Tobias Matthay, who also taught Myra Hess.  Barbara has one brother, Hugh Lloyd-Jones, who was Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford between 1960 and 1989.  He was knighted in 1989.

Barbara RobinsonBarbara was educated at the Lycée Français du Royaume Uni and then in the holidays from Kensington High School, London.  In 1943, at the age of 15, she entered the Slade School of Art (amalgamated in Oxford with the Ruskin School of Drawing during the war), where she studied art until 1947.

In 1946 she married (George) Walter Robinson, who was educated at Winchester College (scholar), then at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he was a Classics scholar.  In 1940-46 Walter served in the Kings Own Regiment, rising to the rank of Major at the Wireless Experimental Centre, New Delhi, where he was a codebreaker with Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Barbara’s brother.

Barbara RobinsonBetween 1946-52 he served in HM Foreign Service, and during that time he also studied for and obtained a degree in classical Chinese.  Between 1952-56 was a lecturer in Ancient Japanese History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. His translation of classical Chinese poetry, Poems of Wang-Wei, was published by Penguin Classics in 1972. He died in 1981.

In 1954, Barbara and Walter spent a year in Japan, which clearly had an influence on Barbara’s work

They emigrated to France in 1957, where they settled in the small village of Vic-le-Fesq, in the Languedoc.  The quality of the light and the vibrance of the colours of the region transformed her painting, and made it what it is today.  This influence, together with a deep appreciation of painting by the French, has propelled her work onto a world class stage.

Exhibitions, collections, books:

Barbara RobinsonIn 1952 Barbara won the Prize for Portrait, Marlborough Fine Art.

Her reputation increased steadily as a contemporary painter, with a series of exhibitions at the New Art Centre, London, in 1959, 1960, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1983.

In 1979 she was awarded the Prize and Silver Medal at the International Art Exhibition in Monaco, and in 1984 the Medal of the City of Rodez, France.

She regularly holds exhibitions in England, France and Switzerland.

In 2008 Barbara was awarded the Medal of the French National Assembly.

Over the last fifty years, her works have been purchased by several public and private collectors.

Public collections include the Contemporary Art Society, National Gallery of W. Australia : Museums at La Rochelle, Monte Carlo and Nîmes : St Hilda's College, Oxford : Girton College, Cambridge : St Anne's College, Oxford : Shell : British Petroleum : Reuters : Daily Express : British Airways : Several Government Ministries : Society of Performing Arts, London, and others. During this period Barbara has received many visitors who came from all over the world, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Zimbabwe and New Zealand among many others.

Barbara has also produced three books containing her work:

  • Lumières de Barbara Robinson (1985), written by Geneviève Conte, with a preface by Lawrence Durrell, published in France by Editions Tierra
  • Autres Lumières de Barbara Robinson (1997)
  • Let there be Light (2007)
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