Robert Winchester Fraser (1848-1906) During his lifetime, Robert Winchester Fraser was the best known of the artist members of his family. He established his style early, and then produced fresh and fluent landscape watercolours throughout his career. Robert Winchester Fraser was born in Findrach, Aberdeen, Scotland, on 25 July 1848. Following his family’s move to Bedford in 1861, he spent four years at the local grammar school before taking up a position as a clerk in the Fire Assurance Office. Moving to London in 1873, he established himself as an artist in the following year, exhibiting watercolours in London, at both the Society of British Artists (1874-1886) and the Dudley Gallery (1874-1882), and publishing his first illustrations for Good Words. He also exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy (1876-89), and in the provinces.
Marrying in 1877, he lived at 47 Ellington Street, Islington, from 1879, and at 111 Highbury Hill from 1881. From 1883, he exhibited mainly at the Institute of Painters in Water Colours (1883-1904), and also at the Bedford Annual Art Exhibitions (1884-86). After 1885, he moved out of London, living in Bromley and Hemingford Grey and, following his second marriage in 1888, at Hampton Hill, Staines and Soham. During the 1880s, he travelled in Europe and to the West Indies. He died at the Bristol Hotel, Gibraltar, on 13 January 1906, while en route to Malaga, to visit Michie, one of his younger brothers.
His two sons, Robert James Winchester Fraser (by his first wife) and Francis George Gordon Fraser (by his second), both became artists.
His work is represented in the collections of Bedford Museum, The Cecil Higgins Art Gallery (Bedford) and the Borough of Darlington Art Collection.