Description & Technical information

Watercolour and gouache, over an underdrawing in pencil.
Albert Goodwin was particularly drawn to sunrises and sunsets. As he noted in another diary entry, from October 1909, ‘I have been thinking how much joy I have had since I was little in the colour of the evening and morning sky and what a delight thousands have in the same thing.’ 

In 1877 Goodwin settled in the seaside town of Ilfracombe in North Devon, and he maintained close links with the West Country for the remainder of his career. The artist lived in Ilfracombe for more than thirty years, until he moved to Bexhill in Surrey in 1906, although even then he continued to make sketching trips in Devon and Cornwall. He was especially attracted to views of the Atlantic coastline, and in particular at dawn or sunset. As he noted of one of his watercolours, when it was exhibited at the Fine Art Society in 1890, ‘Little is known of the charm of North Devon in winter, where the sun rises all the morning and sets all afternoon.’

Located a few miles to the west of Ilfracombe, the coastal resort of Woolacombe is dominated by a long sandy beach extending over three miles. (During the Second World War Woolacombe Sands served as a training ground for American troops practicing amphibious landings in preparation for the D-Day invasion of Normandy.) In the course of his visit to Woolacombe in the summer of 1915, when this watercolour was drawn, Goodwin appears to have ignored a sign posted on the beach stating that photography or sketching was strictly prohibited, and also despite being warned by a coastguard patrol to the same effect. 

Medium: Watercolour and gouache
Signature: Signed and dated 1915. / ALBERT GOODWIN at the lower right.
Inscribed Woolacombe Bay N. Devon. at the lower left.

Dimensions: 355 x 523 cm (139³/₄ x 205⁷/₈ inches)
Provenance: Hewson & Forster, Sheffield (their label on the old backing board)
Anonymous sale, Sheffield, Sheffield Auction Gallery, 8 May 2015, lot 672
Maas Gallery, London.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints