Painter in oil and watercolour of genre and figure subjects, also murals, illustration and stage design
Born in Brentford, Middlesex, and educated at the Lycee de Pau, St Johns Wood School and RA Schools from 1884, and the Academie Julian (1890-92). From 1898-1902 he studied and worked in Italy, and then in Paris until 1906. After his studies in Paris, the Robinsons moved to St Ives where they stayed in the holiday cottages of writers Edith and Havelock Ellis.
Lived and worked in Lamorna for a year (1906) and became close friends of the Birch family. Wormleighton notes that Lamorna BIRCH, followed the guidance he had been given by Robinson. The latter who painted in flat tones in tempera and watercolour, concentrating on the rectilinear aspects of composition and often symbolist in style, had encouraged Birch in Cornwall to pursue the decorative approach to landscape work. Birch was a great admirer of Robinson's technique. The two men developed a strong understanding and shared confidences and the family were frequent visitors to Flagstaff. Robinson's gentle and generous character is well characterised in Laver's essay on the artist and his work.
When in London, and a bed was available in his studio, Birch would stay with the Robinsons in their Holland Park home, when visiting the RA or for other occasional events. Robinson was slow and painstaking, viewing life in soft neutral shades and according to Dr David Brown of the Tate Gallery, "almost consciously evading his own worldly success." Lamorna KERR in the narration of her childhood in the Lamorna Valley (Hardie), consistently spoke of Cayley-Robinson as the distinguished designer of the stage production of Maeterlinck's Blue Bird. He also illustrated a children's book with 25 coloured plates on the same theme. From 1910-14 he painted mural decorations for the Middlesex Hospital. Over the years 1914-24 he fulfilled the post of Professor at Glasgow School of Art, spending three months of each year in Scotland. He designed some posters for the London Midland and Scottish Railway.