Robinson was born into a family of artists in 1872. His father, grandfather and uncle all made their livings through art, via drawing or engraving. Robinson was educated at Islington Art School and the Royal Academy. He illustrated dozens of books, from famous works like Don Quixote and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to lesser-known volumes such as The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm and Plantation Barn Dance.
…in World War Two the machine created by British code breakers at Bletchley Park, the predecessor to the world’s first computer Colossus, was nicknamed Heath Robinson. It consisted of reels and spools, which had to be precisely aligned and timed in order for it to work.
For his own pleasure, he continued to paint in watercolours, experimenting with effects of light and colour. His importance, as an innovator in the fields of illustration and advertising, and perhaps more importantly as the heir of Rowlandson and Cruikshank in the British humorous tradition, has yet to be fully appreciated, and his work is poorly represented in public collections.