Robert Langton Douglas (1864-1951) was born in Suffolk, England and educated at New College, Oxford. For a number of years he lectured at this university and for a time was in holy orders in the Church of England. From 1895 to 1900 he resided in Italy and while a chaplain there, he wrote a monograph on Fra Angelico in consultation with various scholars. He relinquished his church appointment in 1900 to become professor of Modern History at the University of Adelaide, Australia, then returned to Italy in 1901 where he wrote A History of Siena.
He lectured on art at the Royal Institution and the Society of Arts and was made dean of the faculty of Arts in 1901 and contributed to many magazines and reviews. At age 50, in 1914, Douglas enlisted in the British Army for World War I and rose from private to staff captain and a position with the War Office in London. Douglas was awarded for his bravery in World War I. In 1916 Douglas was appointed Director of the National Gallery of Ireland but resigned in 1923 after a disagreement with its trustees. He was known chiefly as an authority on Sienese art and amongst his most important publications were an edition of Crowe and Cavalcaselle’s History of Painting in Italy (1903, et. seq.), La Maioliche di Siena (1904), and an Illustrated Catalogue of Pictures of Siena and Objects of Art (Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1904). He eventually settled in New York in 1940 until his death in 1951.