KELLY, Robert George Talbot

1861 - 1934

Robert George Talbot Kelly, sometime Talbot-Kelly, was born at Glasnevin, Balls Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire on 18 January 1861 and baptised at St Anne, Birkenhead on 23 July 1861, one of the four sons and seven daughters of Irish landscape artist, Robert George Kelly (22 January 1822-9 May 1910) and his wife Mary Walker, daughter of Peter Walker of Stranraer, who married at St Patrick's, Liverpool on 13 July 1855. Young Robert left Birkenhead School in 1876 to take up work in a firm of cotton traders, also being taught art by his father, exhibiting under the name R. G. Kelly Jn. In the early 1880s, after a vacation on a cruise, Talbot-Kelly decided to take up art and, leaving his employment in 1882, travelled by boat to North Africa and in 1883 settled into a studio in Cairo, becoming fluent in Arabic. He spent a considerable time with the Bedouin tribes, whom he described and illustrated in his book, 'Egypt Painted and Described' (London 1902) and an exhibition of his Egyptian works was held at the Fine Art Society in the same year. Kelly also travelled to Iceland and to Burma, on which he wrote two books 'Burma Painted and Described' (1905) and 'Burma' (1909). He married a Scottish girl, Lillias Fisher Lindsay (12 December 1866-1917) and their son was the bird artist Richard Barrett Talbot Kelly (20 August 189630 March 1971), who was born at Birkenhead, they also had a daughter Margaret (born 2 July 1900). He maintained a home in Birkenhead and a studio in Liverpool and was president of the Liver Club, after which he returned to London and in 1921 was a widower living at 96 Fellows Road, Hampstead, London with his son Richard, who was in the regular army and daughter Margaret. An English orientalist landscape and genre painter, author and illustrator, and a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal British Colonial Society of Artists and the Royal Geographical Society and as R. Talbot Kelly exhibited at the Royal Academy also showing at the Ipswich Art Club in 1923, three pen & colour drawings, 'A Desert Trail', 'Karrak Morning' and 'The Early Bird'. Robert George Talbot Kelly was of 3 St Johns Wood Studios, Queens Terrace, St Johns Wood, when he died at the Cancer Hospital, Chelsea, London on 30 December 1934, aged 73. An exhibition of his work was held at Williamson's of Birkenhead in 1980.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 96 Fellows Road, London NW
1913 368 A Desert Place, Nubia
         718 Breeze on the Upper Nile

Works by This Artist