William Dobson: The King’s Painter


Front cover of "William Dobson: The King's Painter"

How did an ordinary Englishman from St Albans become painter to a king?

William Dobson was a 31-year-old artist from London, who left the city in 1642 to join King Charles I at the new royalist capital in Oxford. As civil war raged between Charles and his Parliament for the next four years, Dobson committed to canvas not only the faces of Charles himself, but members of the royal family, courtiers, and soldiers whose duty brought them to the King’s side.

Compared to his feted predecessor, the great Sir Anthony van Dyck, Dobson’s name is little known outside the art world today, and even then he is often dismissed as insignificant. Yet in this first biography of the man Charles I called the “English Tintoret”, we discover the truth about his remarkable family, follow his journey from St Albans schoolboy to king’s painter, and discover why the name of William Dobson should not be forgotten. 

First published in 2016 by Tyger’s Head Books, the biography has already sold out a number of print runs and continues to be in demand.

Another reprint, with some revisions and updates to the text, was planned for April 2020; however pandemic situation has pushed back this date, which – depending on when the printer can resume business – we hope will now be early summer.

If you would like to register your interest for a copy, please send an email and we will let you know when the new print run is available.

Paperback, 166 pages.
156 x 234mm
9 half-page colour plates
£12 + £2.50 p&p UK (please ask for postage quote if ordering from outside UK)