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ALBERT GOODWIN, R.W.S. (1845-1932)
Lots 57 - 61
Goodwin showed himself to be an artist with a unique vision from an
early age, exhibiting his first picture at the Royal Academy when he
was just fifteen years old. He grew up during a period that saw the
foundation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, whose beliefs in 'truth
to nature' and their promotion of colour and working from nature
became highly influential characteristics of Goodwin's work. He
remarked in a Diary entry of 1909 that he felt he had 'suffered all my artistic life from having started under Pre-Raphaelite superlatives in colour. They emphasised the need of scenery and painting and
rejoicing in colour' (H. Smith, Albert Goodwin R.W.S., 1845-1932,
Leigh-on-Sea, 1977, p. 36).
At the end of the 1860s Goodwin met John Ruskin (1819-1900), through
his mentors Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893) and Arthur Hughes (1832-1915), who was to have an equally, if not more, significant effect on his
technique and composition. In 1872 Ruskin invited Goodwin to join him
on an expedition to Italy, and Goodwin continued to travel throughout
the continent and further afield, until his death in 1932. It was
Ruskin who 'bellyragged [Goodwin] into love of form when [he] was
getting too content with colour alone;....the pleasure that is to be
found in lines which should string a drawing together is almost an unknown quantity in these days of paint and paint only' (Smith, op.
cit., p. 24).
Much of Goodwin's later work takes on an increasingly ethereal quality as the combination of his use of pen and wash, together with breadth
and detail, so repeatedly achieve a quite magical unity.
Property from an Estate