Bala Lake, North Wales
Frederick John Widgery (1861 – 1942)
9½” x 20” (24.2 cm x 50.8 cm)
A rare vista of North Wales by this celebrated artist, who is famous for his evocative paintings of the wild, beautiful landscapes of Dartmoor and Exmoor and the picturesque coastal destinations of Devon and Cornwall. Although Widgery is also known to have travelled to Scotland on his painting trips, his Welsh scenes are scarcely found. This pure watercolour features the popular beauty spot, Bala Lake in Snowdonia, the largest natural lake in Wales.
Widgery trained at Exeter School of Art, The South Kensington School and with Charles Verlat at The Antwerp Academy. On his return to England, he was one of only 34 successful applicants, out of several hundred, to be accepted in the inaugural intake at the Bushey Art School established in 1883 by Herbert von Herkomer. Alongside his career as an artist, Widgery took an active role in the civic life of Exeter. Elected a councillor in 1898, he became Mayor in 1903 and was subsequently made Honorary Freeman of the city, Alderman and Justice of the Peace. His initials, F.J., were incorporated in the car registration numbers for Exeter. Widgery illustrated several books, including “Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts” by Lady Rosalind Northcote, published in 1908. He exhibited his work at The Royal Academy, The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters and The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.