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Frederick George Cotman (1850-1920)
Lugger on the shore
Watercolour with trace of pencil
9 x 10 inches

Provenance: Cotman family collection


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Frederick George Cotman was born in Ipswich on 14 August 1850. His uncle, John Sell Cotman, was one of the cornerstones of the Norwich school and a very influential watercolourist. Frederick's first tuition came from William Griffiths, headmaster of Ipswich School of Art. In 1868 he enlisted at the Royal Academy Schools and his proficiency as a draughtsman and painter in oils and watercolours was rewarded with four silver and a gold medal for The Death of Eucles now at the Ipswich Town Hall. His teachers in London were Frederick Leighton (1830-1896) and Henry Tanworth Wells (1828-1903). Cotman became established as a London society portrait painter, for which he could command a fee of 300 guineas and also produced homely genre scenes. Elected a member of both the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, he exhibited at the Royal Academy a portrait of 'Henry Edmund Cotman' and continued showing until 1904, also exhibiting at the Society of British Artists; Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours; Agnew and Sons Gallery; the Dudley Gallery; Dowdeswell Galleries; The Fine Art Society; Grosvenor Gallery all in London, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool; Manchester City Art Gallery; the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy.


In 1875 Frederick became a founder member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club and he was to exhibit there regularly for the rest of his life, becoming the president in 1899. He was also a member and exhibitor at the Woodpecker Sketch Club in Norwich and at the Woodbridge Art Exhibition. In 1897 he moved to Lowestoft, Suffolk to enjoy his favourite sport of yachting. In 1901, he took a studio at Hemingford Grey, Huntingdonshire where he was living on his own account and by about 1905 he moved to nearby St Ives, Huntingdon. By 1916 he had moved in with his brother Thomas William Cotman, at Harland House, 49 Quilter Road, Felixstowe. Examples of his works are in both Ipswich and Norwich Museums and can be viewed here.

Source: Suffolk Artists Website

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