Mike Guilfoyle, vice-chair of the Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, is an admirer of impressionist painter Terrick Williams, who he describes as Ladywell’s Claude Monet. Williams, a painter of light who sought inspiration in the sunniest parts of Europe, is interred in Ladywell Cemetery.
As Ladywell Live readers contemplate the prospects of holidays in the UK or abroad a select palette of wonderful impressionist paintings by the luminously talented artist with a ‘permanent’ Ladywell link Terrick Williams will I hope lighten the mood and pique the travel senses!
As president of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour Williams is remembered for gaining equal rights and full membership for women painters.
Born in 1860 in Liverpool John Terrick Williams (better known as Terrick Williams) was the son of a businessman, who defied his father’s expectations to follow a career in commerce to pursue his artistic leanings, studying in salons in Brussels and Paris.
Following his student days in Paris, he moved to St. Ives in 1890 where he lived, with periods of time as a resident in West London, for the remainder of his life. His evocative impressionistic artistic merit was recognised in many of the exhibitions in which he entered his paintings.
These dealt mainly with landscape and marine subjects and his artistic versatility is evident by the fact that he painted confidently in oil, pastel and watercolour.
Exhibiting across Europe and in the US as well as at the Royal Academy, he took on studios at the Blackheath Art Club in 1891. During his lifetime he became one of the most successful painters in London and a Royal Academician in 1933.
Terrick Williams died in Plymouth on his birthday in 1936 aged 76 after a number of years of indifferent health, having never married. He was interred in Ladywell cemetery on the July 27 1936 alongside other family members.
The Williams family headstone is shaped in a table top design off a pathway close to the Cross of Sacrifice. Its somewhat lugubrious aspect contrasts with the shimmering and vivid artwork so characteristic of this wonderfully talented painter.
Williams was once favourably described by one art critic as “pre-eminently a painter of light who found most inspiration in the sunniest parts of Europe,” mainly painting in such settings as Venice, St.Tropez, Paris, Brittany and St.Ives.
I will leave it to readers who opt to view in a more considered way his prolific and creative portfolio to decide if my earlier portentous designation of Terrick William’s as Ladywell’s Claude Monet, the French artist who was the founder of impressionist painting bears scrutiny.
For readers interested in Terrick William’s biography and viewing aspects of his extensive artwork, Caroline Simon’s 1984 book offers a wonderful introduction.
The Artnet website offers an impressive sampling of Terrick William’s paintings –http://www.artnet.com/artists/terrick-williams/