An egotist obsessed with his own genius, Benjamin Robert Haydon aspired to be a history painter who would emulate the great Italian painters of the Renaissance and lead English art out of the wilderness of mediocrity. Despite some early success with his enormous historical canvases, his dreams were not realised and most of his paintings (with the exception of a few portraits) are now little known or valued. However, Haydon was also a talented writer and on friendly terms with many of the major cultural figures of his day. His massiveDiary
, which he kept for his whole adult life, is a fascinating document for anyone interested in Romantic literature or art.
Haydon was born in Plymouth, Devon on 26 January 1786, the son of Benjamin Robert Haydon, a printer and bookseller, and Sarah
Citation: Higgins, David. "Benjamin Robert Haydon". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 October 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2041, accessed 05 March 2024.]