Tuesday, March 19, 2013

American painter Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1855) paints a man's world


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855) Politics in an Oysterhouse 1848


Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1855) was supported by his prosperous Baltimore family, who had hoped he would become a physician, in his endeavor to become an artist by trade.


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855) Scene in a Bar Room 1845


His young artistic talent was stirred by his access to the art collection of early Baltimore art collector Robert Gilmore, whose collection included Dutch & Flemish genre paintings depicting domestic scenes of people in interiors.


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855) Old 76 and Young 48, 1849


Some of Woodville's most delightful works are his genre scenes of Baltimore's citizens.  Like many genre painters working for centuries before him, Woodville's paintings depict anecdotal details as well as unresolved conflict.  Woodville was a storyteller.


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855) The Card Players


Woodville recorded his early life in Baltimore in the form of drawings, including those depicting his University of Maryland medical school faculty during 1842-3, when he studied medicine.


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855) News About the War in Mexico 1848


He finally decided to turn from medical studies to full-time painting; and in 1845, he sailed to study art in Düsseldorf.  He spent time in Europe, but his extant paintings reflect a relish for the people & interiors of American life.


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855) Waiting for the Stage


While Woodville produced most of his work after leaving Baltimore in 1845 to travel widely in Germany, France & England, he continued to paint Maryland subject matter. He also sailed back to Baltimore for several visits after his 1845 departure.


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855) The Sailor's Wedding 1852


Woodville died at age 30 from an overdose morphine


Richard Caton Woodville (American painter, 1825-1855)  Self Portrait 1853


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