Sitting in the shade overlooking Chioggia signed 'Fred. W. Jackson.' (lower right) oil on canvas 51 x 61cm (20 1/16 x 24in).
PROVENANCE: Acquired directly from the artist by the current owner's great grandfather
Frederick William Jackson was born in 1859 in Middleton, Greater Manchester and was one of three brothers. From an early age Jackson became interested in painting, often going on sketching trips with his friend and future architect Edgar Wood. After leaving school he studied at Oldham School of Art where his teacher John Houghton Hague introduced Jackson to the Manchester School. The group were greatly influenced by the French artist's colony at Barbizon and Jackson's involvement during this period helped shape his own artistic style. Members of the Manchester School embraced the Barbizon School's rejection of the traditional constraints of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism in favour of studying nature and contemporary life in order to create a more immediate and painterly style.
After moving to the Conway Valley, North Wales, in 1880, Jackson became acquainted with Clarence Whaite and Edward Norbury who founded the Royal Cambrian Academy. In the same decade, he was made a member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Art where his work was frequently exhibited.
Upon his return from Wales, Jackson moved to Paris, remaining there for five years and studying under the more traditional artists Lefebre and Boulanger and exhibiting at the Paris Salon in 1884. Before returning to England, Jackson visited Italy and notably Venice and Chioggia, where he was inspired by the Mediterranean light and picturesque landscape. The present lot dates from this period and is a particularly fine example of how Jackson drew inspiration from the clarity of light and shimmering quality of the Venetian lagoon and how his mastery of painting translated this on to canvas.
When Jackson returned to England he married Carrie Hodgeson, a farmer's daughter. Together they lived in Hinderwell, North Yorkshire, near the fishing village of Staithes. It was here that he met Gilbert Foster who had initated the formation of the Staithes Group, of which Jackson was a member. Other members included Dame Laura Knight and Frank Henry Mason. Laura Knight was advised by her drawing master, Thomas Barrett, that there is 'no place like it in the world!' Like the Barbizon artists, the Staithes Group painters shared a desire to break away from the rigidity of the establishment, drawing on contemporary life and the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire coastline for inspiration. With the expansion of the British railway, the end of the 19th Century saw many more artists flock to Staithes to share in the prosperity of the Staithes Group. However, this inundation soon proved too much for the limited market of the North East, leading the group to disperse by the end of 1909. Jackson died at the age of 59 and is buried in his birthpace of Middleton.