Arthur Gilbert Fredrick Williams, popularly known as Arthur Gilbert, was born the fourth son of Edward Williams and Ann Hildebrandt.
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Early life of Arthur Gilbert Fredrick William
Arthur Gilbert was born on the 18th December 1819, at Newington, Butts road in Southeast London. He was tutored at a very young age at his home by his father in the art of painting. Since his father was a legend and a school by himself, Arthur Gilbert did not have to resort to any formal training to hone his skills.
Family of Arthur Gilbert Fredrick William
At the age of 24, he married Elizabeth, whom he lost to tuberculosis after five years. In 1854, he married Sarah. He had two children from his two marriages, daughter Kate and son Horace Walter Gilbert.
Achievements of Arthur Gilbert Fredrick William
Being a member of the Williams family of painters, Arthur Gilbert naturally took to painting landscape pictures. He was famous for painting moonlit landscapes and countryside mountains and meadows.
His two large paintings of St.John, The Baptist, painted for Jaques Paul Migne form a part of the triptych that adorns the gothic church of Audresselless in France.
The Bell Inn, is one of his highly acclaimed pictures, taking the viewer to a long lost, but cherished period. The picture displays a rustic village inn, under a canopy of trees. There is a shallow flowing river with a wooden bridge overlying. Sunlight pouring in from the gaps in the canopy.
A man can be seen on horseback and another can be seen fishing from over the bridge. A horse and a cart and a flock of sheep can be seen in the distant. He transported the viewers to a scene of serenity, tranquillity, and peace, which had been lost in the industrial revolution.
In his attempt to avoid confusion amongst all his family members, Arthur Gilbert changed his name from Williams. This proved as a boon to him as he received great success following the change.
He exhibited 48 pieces of art at the Royal Academy, 51 at the British Institute and 11 at the Sufflock Street.
He was one amongst the three successful William brothers. In the autumn of 1857, he received a personal invitation from W H Rossetti to send hs paintings to the first Exhibition of Living British Artists held in New York.
Legacy of Arthur Gilbert Fredrick William
Arthur Gilbert belonged to the Williams family of painters, popularly known as the Barnes School. The founder and patriarch was his father Edward Williams. Edward Williams was a successful landscape artist of the eighteenth century, having deviated from the more prevalent figure paintings of the time. He along with his sons and grandchildren and other relatives gave the British a treasure of landscape paintings.
The paintings of this family are characteristic of depicting the countryside settings, the lush green meadows, boats sailing along the Thames and moonlit nights. This legacy of landscape paintings was carried forward by his six sons and their grandchildren, each adding a distinct variation to it.
The Williams paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy, The British Institutes and The Society of British Artists.
With over 800 of the family’s paintings being exhibited at The Society of British Artists, the Williams family stake claim to the most acclaimed family in the field of paintings.
Arthur Gilbert Fredrick William’s Demeanor
Characteristic of artistic people, Arthur Gilbert possessed a shy and reserved nature. He was a very devoted father and a beloved husband to both of his wives. His love for the British countryside, it’s meadows, farms and silently flowing rivers found expression in his paintings.
Although he had residences at Weybridge and Hammersmith, he lived most of his life in Barnes, close to his brothers and father. He then moved on to Surrey where he died in 1895.