Goddard, George Bouverie (DNB00)

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GODDARD, GEORGE BOUVERIE (1832–1886), animal painter, was born at Salisbury, 25 Dec. 1832. At ten his drawings were in demand as the productions of youthful genius, yet he received no artistic training, and it was in the face of much opposition that he adopted art as a profession. He came to London in 1849, and spent upwards of two years in making studies of animal life in the Zoological Gardens. During this time he supported himself mainly by drawing on wood sporting subjects for ‘Punch’ and other illustrated periodicals. He then returned to Salisbury, where he received many commissions, but finding his sphere of work too limited, he settled in London in 1857. He began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1856, sending a painting of ‘Hunters.’ To this and other works succeeded ‘The Casuals’ in 1866; ‘Home to die: an afternoon fox with the Cotswolds,’ in 1868; ‘The Tournament,’ his first work of note, in 1870; and ‘Sale of New Forest Ponies at Lyndhurst’ in 1872. In 1875 he exhibited a large picture, fourteen feet long, representing ‘Lord Wolverton's Bloodhounds,’ which was highly praised in Whyte-Melville's ‘Riding Recollections.’ This was followed in 1876 by ‘Colt-hunting in the New Forest;’ in 1877 by ‘The Fall of Man,’ from Milton's ‘Paradise Lost,’ and in 1879 by ‘The Struggle for Existence,’ now in the Walker Fine Art Gallery in Liverpool. In 1881 he sent to the Royal Academy ‘Rescued’; in 1883 ‘Love and War: in the Abbotsbury Swannery,’ and in 1885 ‘Cowed!’ Goddard was a lover of all field sports, and at home equally in the covert and the hunting-field. He died at his residence at Brook Green, Hammersmith, London, on 6 March 1886, after a very short illness, from a chill caught during a visit to his dying father, whom he survived only by a few hours.

[Times, 18 and 29 March 1886; Art Journal, 1886, p. 158; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1856–86.]

R. E. G.