Frederick George Cotman
Oil on canvas, signed & dated 1875
Frederick George Cotman was born in Ipswich on 14th August 1850, the son of Henry Edmund Cotman, a Norwich silk merchant. His uncle was the Norwich marine artist John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) and his cousin was John Joseph Cotman (1814-1878) a landscape artist. His brother was the architect Thomas William Cotman who designed many of the most famous buildings in Felixstowe. He received private tuition from William Thomson Griffiths, head of the Ipswich School of Art. He first exhibited in 1867 at the Eastern Counties Working Classes Industrial Exhibition at Norwich, where he won a prize medal. He entered the Royal Academy in 1868 and was taught by were Frederick Leighton (1830-1896) and Henry Tanworth Wells (1828-1903). Leighton employed him to help paint 'The Daphnephoria' in 1876 and he also assisted Wells with his paintings.
Cotman exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1871 and at the Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Agnew and Sons, the Dudley Gallery, Dowdeswell Galleries, Fine Art Society and Grosvenor Gallery. He also exhibited at provincial galleries including the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool; Manchester City Art Gallery; the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy.
He was a founder member of the influential Ipswich Art Club, and remained a member of it all his life. He was also a member at the Woodpecker Art Club, later the Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle where he exhibited. He was a highly successful artist, initially establishing himself as a society portrait painter, however it is for his landscapes and interior scenes that he is perhaps best known. Cotman is linked with the Norwich School of painters. However, although he lived for a time in Diss, Norfolk as a child, he spent most of his life in Suffolk and never lived in Norwich. In 1913, he moved to Quilter Road, Felixstowe where he later died on 16th July 1920.
Examples of his work can be found in a number of public collections including the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Brighton & Hove Museum, Colchester & Ipswich Museum, Norfolk Museum, Sheffield Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Warrington Museum.
The painting is housed in its original gilt frame which is in excellent condition.