|Octavius Oakley (1800-1867)|
A Young Girl at the Old Well, Guernsey.
19 1/4 x 13 1/2 inches
English, mid 19th century, gilded frame.
Octavius Oakley (1800-1867):
Octavius's father, William Oakley, was a wealthy wool merchant in Bermondsey on the South Bank of the Thames. It was among the wharves and warehouses that Octavius grew up. He was sent to Yorkshire to learn the wool trade but his artistic talent was quickly recognised. He moved to Derby around 1825 and was patronised by the Duke of Devonshire, Viscount Scarsdale, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Sir George Sitwell. In 1836 he moved to Leamington Spa to paint portraits of the wealthy clientele who had come to take the waters. In 1842 he returned permanently to London and through his artist friends George Cattermole, Frank Stone and Charles Landseer he was elected to the Old Watercolour Society, becoming a full member in 1844. He is best known for his rustic figures and gypsies in addition to landscapes and portraits. He exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy and the Old Watercolour Society. His daughters also painted, the second of which, Isabel, married the Guernsey watercolourist Paul Jacob Naftel. Through Naftel, in 1844 Oakley made his first of many visits to Guernsey where he painted and later exhibited shrimpers, fishermen, peasant children and a few local views including fishermen's cottages. Collections: Victoria and Albert Museum, Birmingham City Art Gallery and elsewhere.