Self taught artist Robert Hughes, who gave up a career as a senior executive of a national company to become one of the country’s leading miniaturists, has died at the age of 75 after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease in his later life.

Mr Hughes, formerly of Broad Town, had lived at Easton Royal with his partner Liz Johnson since 1992 but had been in Merlin Court nursing home in Marlborough for the past two years.

He was born in London and began painting while in his 40s, by which time he was a rising executive with PHH.

After the car and truck fleet management giant took over Blue Star Garages, he became managing director and, at the time of his retirement in 1991, was senior vice president.

Mr Hughes, who leaves two grown up children Sally and Pete, became an accomplished miniature painter and began to realise that his future lay with art rather than with the world of commerce.

Ms Johnson said: “He always said he was a square peg in a round hole and his heart was in his painting.”

Mr Hughes became acknowledged as leading miniature painter but initially he painted miniatures not by choice but out of necessity, said Ms Johnson.

“The reason he painted in miniature when he started was that he had a young family and painting miniatures was cheaper because they use fewer materials,” she said.

Mr Hughes first showed his work to the landscape artist Andy le Poidivin who formerly ran an art gallery in Hughenden Yard in Marlborough and who told him there was a market for his paintings.

In 1986 he was admitted as a member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters and in 1991 he was admitted to the Hilliard Society for miniature painters.

Together with his partner he set up a business called Fine Art Promotions to run exhibitions for artists all over the country and annually he would allow visitors to his studio at Easton Royal as part of the Marlborough Open Studios event.

Mr Hughes died on April 27 and his funeral takes place at West Wiltshire Crematorium on Monday May 10 at 2.30pm, which many artists from a wide area are expected to attend.