Artist biography

English painter. He studied at Heatherleys in London (1876–7), at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp (1877–8) and with Alphonse Legros at the Slade (1878–80). At the Slade, Gotch became close friends with Henry Scott Tuke and Caroline Yates (fl 1880–96), whom he married in 1881. While studying in Paris in the early 1880s Gotch began to practise the plein-air approach later associated with the Newlyn school.

Gotch settled in Newlyn in 1887, but he continued to experiment with subjects, styles and media. Many oils and watercolours are indebted to the tonal and compositional innovations of his friend James McNeill Whistler. Portrait painting (e.g. Sir William Drake in the Morning Room, 1885; priv. col.) remained Gotch's primary source of income throughout his life. He sought a new focus for his work in Florence between 1891 and 1892, and in a series of paintings resulting from this visit, beginning with My Crown and Sceptre (1892; Sydney, A.G. NSW), he returned to allegorical genre painting. His new combination of symbolic female figures, decorative Italian textiles and the static order of early Renaissance art finally brought him recognition. Alleluia (1896; London, Tate) was purchased by the Chantrey Bequest trustees. Gotch was active in the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Institution. He was a founding member of the New English Art Club and the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists, serving as president between 1913–28.

A. L. Baldry: ‘The Work of T. C. Gotch', The Studio, xiii (March 1898), pp. 73–82
Artists of the Newlyn School, 1880–1900 (exh. cat. by C. Fox and F. Greenacre, Newlyn, Orion Gals, 1979), pp. 172–85
B. Cogger Rezelman: The Newlyn Artists and their Place in Late-Victorian Art (diss., Bloomington, IN U., 1984)
Painting in Newlyn, 1880–1930 (exh. cat. by C. Fox and F. Greenacre, London, Barbican A.G., 1985), pp. 75–7, 105–6, 121–3


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