Widgery was the son of William Widgery (1822-1893) who was also a well
known landscape painter. Frederick John Widgery produced landscape and
coastal scenes, mainly in gouache, with most of the subjects being local
scenes in the Devon and Cornwall area. He was born in 1861 and studied
at the Exeter School of Art, in London and in Antwerp. He later became a
magistrate and Mayor of Exeter, being very active in local
His large output and long life meant
that his pictures are quite common, particularly in the West of England.
He has always been a popular artist, but some of his later work is
somewhat repetitive. His style is however very distinctive and his
evocation of the misty scenary of Dartmoor is particularly good. He even
has a number of imitators, such as R.D.Sherrin (see elsewhere on this
web site for an example of his work).
The picture on the left of Cut Hill,
Dartmoor shows a typical moorland scene by the artist. His work was
exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Royal Academy, the
Royal Institute of Painters of Watercolours and the Walker Art Gallery,
His work appears in several books
including "A Vision of Dartmoor - Paintings by F.J.Widgery" by
C. Jane Baker and published in 1988 which contains much biographical
information on both F.J.Widgery and his father, plus 22 colour plates of
his watercolours originally published in b/w in the work "A Peramulation
of Dartmoor" mentioned below. See also "Torquay - The Charm and History of
its Neighbourhood" by John Presland published in 1920 and in
illustrated "Lorna Doone" by R.D. Blackmore in an edition published by
Sampson Low Marston, "A Perambulation of Dartmoor" by S.Rowe, "Fair Devon
Album" by S.Rowe and "Devon" by Lady R Northcote. A
collection of material and some of his paintings are held by the Royal
Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter (the photograph on the right of
F.J.Widgery in mayoral robes from 1904 is reproduced courtesy of
Exeter City Museums and Art Gallery).
The picture below of Widemouth Bay,
Bude is one of his larger, and probably later, works.
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