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Cust, Robert H. Hobart

    Full Name: Cust, Robert H. Hobart

    Other Names:

    • Robert Henry Hobart Cust

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1861

    Date Died: 1940

    Place Born: Hythe, Kent, England, UK

    Place Died: Hampstead, Camden, London, England, UK

    Home Country/ies: United Kingdom


    Early scholar of Sodoma and the town of Siena. Cust’s father was Robert Cust and his mother Maria Hobart. After attending Eton, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and Magdalen College Oxford. He married Cornelia Octavia Peacock. In 1906 Cust published the major work on Il Sodoma, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi. In subsequent years, Cust had to fend off reviewers who found–as Cust did himself–Sodoma’s subject matter and lifestyle immoral. He and Bernard Berenson agreed that Sodoma’s paintings drifted “into work that would disgrace any artist.” Cust also submitted the article on Sodoma to Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. The following year he translated the 1888 Vittore Carpaccio: discorso letto by Gustav Ludwig (1852-1905) and Pompeo Molmenti (1852-1928) as The Life and Works of Vittorio Carpaccio. Cust took up residency in Siena, where, in 1903, he attacked R. Langton Douglas and his History of Siena, accusing him of ignorance of the basic archival sources of that city. Cust produced a number of short books for the publisher George Bell in the series Bell’s Miniature Series of Painters, including works on Leonardo and Botticelli (both 1908). In 1910 he issued his own translation of an abbreviated version of the life of Benvenuto Cellini, based on a newer edition of the Italian (by Bacci) to compete with the popular version translated by John Addington Symonds of 1888, and, though also popular, never achieved as much success. He served in the RAF during World War I. His cousin was Lionel Cust a director of the National Portrait Gallery.

    Selected Bibliography

    Leonardo da Vinci. London: G. Bell & Sons, 1908; Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, hitherto Usually Styled “Sodoma,” the Man and the Painter, 1477-1549: a Study. London: J. Murray, 1906; The Pavement Masters of Siena (1369-1562). London, G. Bell and Sons, 1901; translated, Cellini, Benvenuto. The Life of Benvenuto Cellini. London : G. Bell and sons,1910; translated, Molmenti, Pompeo Gherardo, and Ludwig, Gustav. The Life and Works of Vittorio Carpaccio. London: J. Murray, 1907; “Professor Langton Douglas and Documentary Evidence.” Burlington Magazine 1 no. 2 (April 1903): 269-270


    Who Was Who among English and European Authors, 1931-1949. vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1978, p. 376; Who Was Who in Literature, 1906-1934. vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1979, p. 280.


    Contributors: Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen


    Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen. "Cust, Robert H. Hobart." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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