Antique miniature portraits of the Tormey-Holder Collection



English Artist: Edmund Gouldsmith



Portrait miniature by Edmund Gouldsmith depicting George William Seymour Seton (1885-1963), painted when he was a lieutenant in the British Royal Navy

George William Seymour Seton (1885-1963),
Painted When He Was a Lieutenant in the British Royal Navy

circa 1910
by Edmund Gouldsmith (1852-1932)

1 7/8 x 2 3/8 inches (sight)

formerly a holding of the Arturi Phillips Collection
(Carmela Arturi and Frederick Roger Phillips)

watercolor on ivory; housed in a gilt metal pendant frame


About the Artist: Though represented in the Tormey-Holder Collection by his miniature portrait of George William Seymour Seton, Edmund Gouldsmith was more well known for his larger-scale landscapes, marine scenes and street scenes in oil on canvas. He was born in 1852 in Cotham, Bristol, Gloucester, the second of two children (both sons) of Thomas Edmund Gouldsmith (1818-1892) and Elizabeth Stacey (1825-1903). His father was a landed gentleman, affording him a privileged upbringing, a quality education and ample opportunity to travel. He studied art at both the Bristol School of Art in Gloucester, and the Royal Academy Schools in London. As a young man, he traveled extensively in Australia and New Zealand, where he painted and exhibited numerous works (mostly landscapes and street scenes in oil). He lived briefly in both Addelaide, South Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand. While in Christchurch, he taught art at Christ's College, an exclusive, Anglican school for young men. He was elected to the Canterbury Society of Arts (Christchurch) in 1886. From 1891, he returned to his hometown of Bristol, where he joined the Royal West of England Academy. He also maintained ties in London, however, where he was made a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. Between 1891 and 1901, he exhibited numerous works (mostly land and seascapes in oil) at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Society of British Artists, the British Institution, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, the Royal Scottish Academy, and the Society of British Artists (Suffolk Street). In 1903, at the age of 51, he married Amy Read, 20 years his junior; and the two settled in Bath, Somerset. There, they had a son, Edmund Humpage Gouldsmith (who, sadly, died at the young age of 14, in 1918). By the 1911 England Census, Gouldsmith's occupation was no longer listed as artist. Rather he was listed as simply living by "private means". The family's address was listed as 4 Bloomfield Place, Bath; and also living in the home were both a full time parlor maid and cook. Gouldsmith died in 1932, at the age of 80. He is known to have works in the collections of the Art Gallery of South Australia (Addelaide, South Australia), the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Wellington, New Zealand) and the Poole Museum (Poole, Dorset, England). Listed by Benezit.








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