COTMAN, Frederick George

1850 - 1920

Frederick George Cotman, with wife and son

Frederick George Cotman was born at 186 Wykes Bishop Street, Ipswich on 14 August 1850, youngest child of Henry Edmund Cotman (1802-1871), a former silk mercer of Norwich, and his wife Maria née Taylor (1813-1895), who married at Mattishall, Norfolk in 1842. Henry's elder brother was artist John Sell Cotman (1742-1842). The partnership of Edmund Cotman and Henry Edmund Cotman in the London Street, Norwich silk mercer’s business was dissolved in 1841 when Henry carried on the business on his own account, but this was unsuccessful, when the family moved to Ipswich. By 1851 they were living at Mount Street, Diss, Norfolk but ten years later had returned to live at 33 Wykes Bishop Street, Ipswich when the family included his brother Thomas William Cotman, another of his brother's was Henry Edmund Cotman, the younger. Frederick was a private pupil of William Griffiths, headmaster of Ipswich School of Art, 1866-1867 and assisted Griffiths with classes at the school as well as teaching at smaller local schools. Cotman’s work was first exhibited in 1867, at the Eastern Counties Working Classes Industrial Exhibition at Norwich, when he won a prize medal. The following year he became a student at the Royal Academy Schools and his proficiency as a draughtsman and painter in oils and watercolours, was rewarded with four silver and in 1873 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) and Leighton employed him to help paint 'The Daphnephoria' in 1876 and Wells also employed him on his paintings. Cotman became established as a London society portrait painter, for which he could command a fee of 300 guineas and produced homely genre scenes. Elected a member of both the Royal Institute of Painters In Water Colours and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from London Road, Ipswich in 1871 a portrait of 'Henry Edmund Cotman' and continued showing until 1904, also exhibiting at the Royal Society of British Artists; Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours; Agnew & Sons Gallery; the Dudley Gallery; Dowdeswell Gallery; Fine Art Society; Grosvenor Gallery all in London, the Walker Art Gallery; Manchester City Art Gallery; the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy. Frederick married at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, London on 30 March 1875, a Scottish girl, Ann Barclay, daughter of Barron Grahame, of Morphie, Aberdeenshire. In the same year Frederick became a founder member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club where in 1881, he exhibited from 10 Boscobel Place, Alpha Road, London, six paintings including an oil ‘From Shade into Sunshine’ and watercolours 'Absorbed', 'A Passing Wonder', 'Where the Abbey Stood' and 'Corn Exchange (pulled down 1880)', in 1882 an oil 'Tea and Gossip', in 1883 an oil 'From Church' and three watercolours 'Evening-Bury, Sussex', 'Amberley Castle, from the River Avon' and 'Queen's College from the Green, Cambridge' and a sketch drawing and was a regular annual exhibitor and remained a member until his death being elected president in 1899. He was also a member and exhibitor at the Woodpecker Sketch Club 1887-1893, from London and in 1889 exhibited at the Woodbridge Art Exhibition at the Assembly Room at the Bull Hotel, Woodbridge an oil 'St Ives, Huntingdonshire' and a watercolour 'Croyland Bridge'. In 1891, Frederick with his wife and six children, were living at Widmere Common, Burnham, Buckinghamshire but 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 about 1905 he moved to nearby St Ives, Huntingdon and by 1916 had moved in with his brother Thomas William Cotman, at Harland House, 49 Quilter Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk in which year he again exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club five works, 'Harvest Moon', 'Road to the Shore, Erwarton', 'Distant View of Harwich', 'Evening, the Mouth of the Stour' and 'Sunset'. Frederick George Cotman died at 49 Quilter Road, Felixstowe on 16 July 1920 and was buried in Old Felixstowe churchyard. His wife died in 1936, aged 86. Cotman painted a self-portrait with his wife and young son Henry William (1876-1938) who, with their second son Frederick Grahame (6 February 1878-6 July 1938), were also minor artists. His works are represented in both Ipswich and Norwich Museums.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 85 London Road, Ipswich
1871 474 Henry Edmund Cotman
from St Peter's, Ipswich
1872 914 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness'
from 30 Gower Street, Bedford Square, London
1873 205 Summer Noon
         1035 Abraham and Isaac
         1055 Among the Lillies
1874 61 Frank May, Esq.
         264 Noah
         1050 The Death of Eucles
from Hogarth Club, 84 Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, London
1875 67 The Weary Gleaner
         622 Vigilance and sleep
from 10 Boscobel Place, Alpha Road, Regent's Park
1876 154 Edith Caroline, daughter of Henry Hucks Gibbs, Esq.
         456 The Rev. John Eyre Yonge, M.A.
         951 An Anxious Heart
         1289 'Brag'
1877 77 Charles D. Prideaux Brune, Esq.
         375 Family Group
1878 69 Mrs Dearman Birchall
         948 Au Revoir
         1012 Edward Greene, Esq., M.P.
1879 233 The Right Rev. Edward Trollope, D.D., Bishop Suffragan of Nottingham
         217 The Old, Old Story
         1050 'Ethel': A portrait
1880 304 One of the Family
1881 10 Lady Theodora Guest and her favourite dog 'Lemon'
         1401 Hubert, son of H. de F. Montgomery, Esq.
1882 661 Portraits of the Marchioness of Westminster and Mr. and Lady Theodora Guest
1883 399 At Last!
         1484 Vice Admiral Sir G.H. Richards, C.B., F.R.S.
1884 351 Rebellion on the Throne
         1652 Miss Guest
1885 133 Woolspinners
1886 622 At the Lock
1889 1508 Saint Ives
1890 644 Where the Stour and the Avon meet
         1342 Near Spalding
1891 300 Exeter
         595 Corfe
1892 959 Passing Storm, Corfe
         1116 Dessert - watercolour
1894 1106 Moonrise - watercolour
from 2 High Street, Lowestoft
1898 276 Harbour Lights, Lowestoft
         1149 On the Slips, Lowestoft - watercolour
from Arts Club, 40 Dover Street, Piccadilly, West London
1899 173 Winter Sunrise on the Alde
1900 727 Framlingham
         736 Departing Ray of Sunshine: Blythburgh
         741 On the Alde
         764 Mill-dam on the Wey
1903 451 William Groome, Esq.
1904 103 Pamela, daughter of John D. Cobbold, Esq.

Works by This Artist