Robert Clatworthy was born in Somerset and studied at the West of England Academy, Chelsea School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art. Clatworthy's early works involved expressionistic portrayal of bulls and horses: later he moved further towards more figurative work.
He was represented by the Hanover Gallery throughout the 1950s, and the Waddington Gallery throughout the 1960s. One man shows include Austin Desmond Fine Art and Basil Jacobs. Both the Tate Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum hold his work. Elected Royal Academician in 1973.
A monograph of the artist's work has recently been published.