Robin Tanner was an English artist, etcher and printmaker. He followed in the visionary tradition of Samuel Palmer and English neo-romanticism. He lived in London, at Kington Langley, in Wiltshire, and Bath.
His etchings began following night-school classes at Goldsmiths College in London. He had been inspired by the major Samuel Palmer retrospective exhibition organised by Martin Hardie in London in 1926, and his first etching was made in that year. He was particularly moved by Palmer's early period Shoreham works which had been so influential on fellow students such as Paul Drury, William Larkins and Graham Sutherland. He also acknowledged his admiration for the technical craftsmanship of the older etcher, F.L. Griggs.
Tanner was thus part of the etching revival in England, but the market for etchings collapsed following the economic depression of 1929, and by the growing use of photography for illustration.
Tanner turned to teaching to earn his livelihood. His passion for teaching fine art to young children was infused into many English counties through his role as H.M. Inspector of Schools in primary schools from 1935 to 1964. Following his retirement in 1964, Tanner took up printmaking again with dedication.