Francis Donkin Bedford was born in Notting Hill, London where he lived and worked throughout his career. Bedford studied architecture at the South Kensington Schools before enrolling at the Royal Academy Schools in 1885, where he studied painting and illustration. Subsequently the artist spent several years travelling throughout France, Spain and Italy sourcing artistic inspiration.
In 1897 the artist illustrated his first significant publication ‘A Book of Nursery Rhymes’ which was met with great acclaim. He continued to receive commissions to produce illustrations for a range of publications throughout the late 1890s and early 1900s whilst exhibiting with a range of London galleries and institutions including the Royal Academy.
Though an accomplished painter, Bedford was renowned as an illustrator and his architectural training evident in his skilled depiction of interior and exterior scenes. Among his most famous works is ‘Peter and Wendy’ (1911) the original publication of the adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s famed play ‘Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up’. Bedford also illustrated several editions of Charles Dickens’ novellas such as ‘A Christmas Carol’ (1923) and ‘The Cricket on the Hearth’ (1927). The artist was a member of the Art Workers Guild.