Blood, Bone and Genius
Benjamin Robert Haydon, historical painter, in his own words
Written and performed by: R M Lloyd Parry
‘Genius was not put on this earth to obey laws, but make them...’
The diary of Benjamin Robert Haydon [1786-1846] is the most entertaining, vainglorious and ultimately tragic document of the Romantic period. Friend of Wordsworth and Keats, champion of the Elgin Marbles, scourge of the Royal Academy: this self-proclaimed saviour of British Art charmed and argued his way through the early 19th century, recording his triumphs and humiliations in hilarious and touching detail.
Originally written to complement the exhibition, ‘The Body Politic,’ at the Royal Academy in 2007, this one-man play by Robert Lloyd Parry brings Haydon's raging prose back to life. It was first performed in the historic life drawing room of the Royal Academy Schools on 22nd June 2007, the 161st anniversary of the artist's death.
‘If this be delusion, if I am mad, then so was Columbus mad when he obeyed the roaring of the Atlantic winds!’
Blood, Bone and Genius uses Haydon's own diaries and autobiography to relate the rise and fall of this tragi-comic artistic hero.