Woolacombe Bay, North Devon
Watercolour, bodycolour and pencil; signed and dated 1915, labelled with title
13¾ x 20½ inches
In synthesising the influences of J M W Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, Albert Goodwin may be considered one of the most Ruskinian of Victorian landscape painters. Indeed, he was taken up by John Ruskin and, in 1872, given the opportunity to travel with him on an intensive tour of Italy and Switzerland. This set the pattern for many further and extensive travels. Like Ruskin, Goodwin responded to landscape with a religious fervour and understanding; but he interpreted it with greater eclecticism than did his mentor, even experimenting with the style of James McNeill Whistler, Ruskin’s adversary in the field of aesthetics.
Goodwin had strong links with North Devon and first visited Bideford in 1865, aged 20. This inspired his works, many of which were exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Following his marriage to Alice Desborough of Gidleigh Park in 1874, Goodwin and his family moved to Ilfracombe. The seaside town and surrounding coastal scenes became his home and inspiration for over thirty years of his life.