Frederick Goodall, R.A. (1822-1904)
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Frederick Goodall, R.A. (1822-1904)

Raising the maypole

Frederick Goodall, R.A. (1822-1904)
Raising the maypole
signed and dated 'F Goodall/1851-54' (lower left)
oil on panel, unframed
16¾ x 28 in. (42.5 x 71.2 cm.)
London, Royal Academy, 1851, no.552.
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Lot Essay

Frederick Goodall (1822-1904) was a London painter of landscapes, genre and Egyptian subjects and came from a large family of artists. His precocious talent brought him early notoriety and in 1837 he won a silver medal at the Society of Arts. In 1843 he embarked on a painting tour of Ireland with F. W. Topham.

The present picture, with it's subject matter and highly detailed technique, is a fine example of his early style which was greatly inspired by the work of Sir David Wilkie. The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1851 and its extended title explains the subject that the artist chose.

Raising the Maypole
'It was a great object with some of the more rigid among the early Reformers to suppress amusements, especially maypoles; and these "Idols" of the people were got down as zeal grew fierce. The restoration of Charles II was the signal for the restoration of maypoles, which were reared with great ceremony and rejoicing'.

The success of this picture must at least in part have attributed to the artist's election as an Associate of the Royal Academy the following year at the age of 30. He was elected a full academician in 1863 and at the height of his career was earning over £10,000 a year.

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