Liverpool artwork of the day – Friday May 25 2007. ‘On the Fringe of the Desert’ c1884 Frederick Goodall (1822 – 1904) Oil on canvas, 66.9 x 153.6cm in Sudley House
Sudley House re-opens tomorrow – May 26 2007 after £1 million refurbishment (more about that later)
The son of an artist, Goodall displayed early talent, exhibiting four watercolours at London’s Royal Academy in 1837 at the age of 15. His early oils were genre pictures, landscapes and subjects from British history. However, a trip to the Near East at the age of 36 turned his attention to genre and biblical themes based upon his experiences in Egypt.
Armed with letters of introduction from the artist David Roberts (1796 -1864), he travelled extensively, sketching and collecting local woodwork, artefacts and examples of Arab dress to inspire him on his return to England, where he was to become a successful Orientalist (an artist who painted often romantic scenes of the East). Of his travels, Goodall said:
“I was perfectly bewildered at the novelty of everything, and felt absolutely convinced that the people had never been painted…