'A complete gentleman’: Beloved artist who worked for Disney passes away aged 72 

Romford-based artist Robert Bryan sadly passed away on April 14

Romford-based Robert Bryan was active in an array of local groups and clubs, as well as an accomplished artist - Credit: Mary Bryan

Beloved local artist Robert Bryan, whose skills ranged from painting to bagpipe-making, has sadly died at the age of 72. 

Remembered for his kind and generous nature as much for his extensive body of work, Bob passed away on April 14 in The Fountains Care Home, Rainham. 

Born in east London, Bob’s career began in the 1960s when he worked as a junior in a top West End commercial art studio.  

After enrolling to study at Chelsea's Sir John Cass and London Central Art schools, he worked his way to becoming an owner and partner of a creative studio in Bleeding Heart Yard, Clerkenwell. 

While running the studio, Bob worked with a host of high-profile clients, including Saatchi and Saatchi, English Heritage, NatWest, Orange and Disney.  

Marine artist Robert Bryan with some of his work

Bob with some of his work from an exhibition he did at Havering Museum, in 2019 - Credit: Archant

Over the years, Bob’s portfolio developed to include a focus on paintings and illustrations, with maritime and rural elements featuring strongly in his pieces.

Always looking to expand his formidable skillset, he also put his hands to making a range of models, primarily of boats, trains and planes. 

His wife of 42 years, Mary Bryan, 85, described him as someone who “just loved people”. 

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“He helped so many people and with his painting, he taught people and helped them with that,” she said. 

Settling to live with Mary in Romford, Robert was an active member of an array of local clubs and groups.

Among them were the Thames Barge Sailing Club, the Royal Liberty Morris, and Gen Bomborum, a reenactment group for mediaeval and Victorian events. 

Mary said for decades, she and Robert held soirees and barbeques several times a year at their home for local friends, family and church-goers. 

On her husband’s legacy, she said: “He leaves behind hundreds of friends and acquaintances that he’s helped, mentored and taught to enjoy art, life, folk and music."

Mary Bryan, Bob's wife of 42 years, described him as someone who “just loved people”

Mary Bryan, Bob's wife of 42 years, described him as someone who “just loved people” - Credit: Mary Bryan

She added he was "just a complete gentleman, and so knowledgeable about things”. 

His sister Lorraine paid tribute to a "great uncle who adored his nieces and nephews".

Bob’s final exhibition, Diversity, is on at the Havering Museum until May 28, at which a range of his work will be on display. 

Bob, who passed away from renal disease and heart failure, is survived by his wife Mary, siblings Lorraine and John and multiple nieces and nephews. 

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