The Flower Maiden
Oil on canvas, signed
William Oliver Williams known as William Oliver was a figurative and genre artist who specialised in paintings of young women. He was born in Worcester in 1823 the son of a William Williams a surgeon and Jane Oliver. He moved to London and enrolled at the Royal Academy in 1848. He married Jane Hughes on 30 December 1852. Two of their sons also became artists: William Oliver ‘Rhys’ Williams, known as Oliver Rhys (1854-1907) and Reginald Arthur Williams, who signed his works as Reginald Arthur (1862-1899).
He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1858-1882 and at the Royal Society of British Artists, the British Institute. He also exhibited around the country at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Glasgow Institute, Manchester Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
He worked for the Arundel Society in the early 1850’s travelling to Italy to draw Giotto’s fresco in Padua as well as other classical works. He later used his knowledge to incorporate Roman and Greek themes into his paintings, particularly fabrics and costumes. He died on 16 April, 1901 in Kensington.
Examples of his work can be found in the Manchester Art Gallery, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Sheffield Museum, Sunderland Museum, the V&A and in the Royal Collection.
The painting is housed in a new English made gilt frame in the appropriate style for the period, which is in excellent condition.