Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (1847–1900) was a Scottish art critic, a cousin of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson. His father was the lighthouse engineer Alan Stevenson. Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, graduated with the master's degree from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and studied art in the Edinburgh School of Art and in Paris and Antwerp, but never practiced painting extensively. From 1889 to 1893 he was professor of fine arts at University College, Liverpool, and from 1893 art critic on the Pall Mall Gazette. He was one of the most gifted and just of British critics.
Robert Alan Stevenson was very close to his cousin, the famous author Robert Louis Stevenson. It was once rumored in those days that the two were "the component parts of one individual somehow disrupted by a cataclysm of nature". "The New Arabian Nights" (1905) cites him as the main source material for the ideas and characters. Robert Louis Stevenson's wife states that he was the model for the young man with the cream tarts in "The Suicide Club", Paul Somerset in "The Dynamiter", and also appeared in "Prince Otto". She also says, "Whenever my husband wished to depict a romantic, erratic, engaging character, he delved into the rich mind of his cousin's personality".
The preface to the biographical edition of "The New Arabian Nights" says, "It seems incredible that a genius so unusual as that of Robert Alan Stevenson should pass out of existence, leaving nothing more for posterity than a single brilliant volume and a few desultory papers on music and painting; but he was a dreamer of dreams, without ambition, who dwelt alone in a world of fantasy, from which he would sometimes emerge to dazzle his friends with wild theories, sound philosophy, unexpected learnings, and whimsical absurdities, all jumbled together and presented with such pertinent reasoning and certainty of the truth of his premises that his hearers would be swept off their feet."
Read more about Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson: Selected Bibliography
Famous quotes containing the words alan and/or stevenson:
“People must not do things for fun. We are not here for fun. There is no reference to fun in any act of Parliament.”
—A.P. (Sir Alan Patrick)
“Stevenson had noble ideasas did the young Franklin for that matter. But Stevenson felt that the way to implement them was to present himself as a thoughtful idealist and wait for the world to flock to him. He considered it below him, or wrong, to scramble out among the people and ask them what they wanted. Roosevelt grappled voters to him. Stevenson shied off from them. Some thought him too pure to desire power, though he showed ambition when it mattered.”
—Garry Wills, U.S. historian. Certain Trumpets: The Call of Leaders, ch. 9, Simon & Schuster (1994)