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Painting, Dickens's Dream by Robert W. Buss, 1875



Object number (per part)


Object name (per part)

oil painting


Dickens's Dream
A Souvenir of Dickens

Production person

Buss, Robert W.

Production date



This painting by Robert William Buss, an enthusiastic admirer of Charles Dickens’s writings and his contemporary, was painted five years after the author’s death. The posthumous painting of Dickens celebrates the writer's vivid imagination and depicts characters from all his books, spanning 'Pickwick Papers' to 'Edwin Drood', surrounding Dickens in his library at Gad’s Hill Place. The setting was modelled on Luke Filde's illustration 'Empty Chair', and the figure of Dickens was copied from a well-known photograph by John Watkins (1861-1863). This panting was never finished but its ethereal quality has garnered it the title 'Dickens's Dream'.

Physical description

The painting depicts Dickens sat in a chair in his study at Gad's Hill, surrounded by images of the characters from his works.
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