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 Richard Caton Woodville, Sr.  (1825 - 1855)

/ WOOD-vil/


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Lived/Active: Maryland / Germany      Known for: genre, portrait painting, illustration

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Ad Code: 3
Richard Caton Woodville
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of a Militiaman
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Genre painter Richard Caton Woodville's brief life ended tragically at the age of thirty in 1855 with an overdose of morphine ruled accidental. Though Woodville had to work through his family's desire for him to be a doctor, they were wealthy, and opportunity seemed to lie before him.

Born in 1825 in Baltimore, Woodville may have had some early training in art from Alfred Jacob Miller, later known for his Western paintings.  He had access as well to Robert Gilmore's collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings, and genre painter William Sidney Mount.  Their meticulous finish, detail and subject matter meshed with Woodville's own native interests, and were reflected in his mature work.

In 1845, Woodville began five years of study in Dusseldorf, Germany with portrait painter Karl Ferdinand Sohn, which reinforced the Flemish influence and enhanced Woodville's proclivity for well planned compositions of precisely rendered figures and interiors with accompanying still-life objects.  Despite the length of this association, only a few drawings survive.

Woodville lived in Paris for a time after 1850.  He then moved to London, where he died.  His son, with the same name, would be successful as an illustrator.

Soldier's Experience, 1844, watercolor and pencil, is Woodville's earliest known genre work.  Scene in a Bar Room, 1845, was shown in that year at the National Academy of Design in New York City.

Richard Caton Woodville's work can be seen at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Academy of Design, New York City (War News from Mexico, 1848); and the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore (Politics in a Oyster House, 1848; The Sailor's Wedding, 1852).

David Michael Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
The following is from Shirley V. Baltz, Hammonton New Jersey


Born in Baltimore 30 April 1825, died in London 13 September 1855

Son of William and Elizabeth (Ogle) Woodville.  William was the son of William Woodville IV and Dorothy (Caton) Woodville of Mt. Pleasant, Liverpool, England and was born in 1792.  He was Master of Transportation, B&O RR and later a stockbroker.  WW's uncle, Richard Caton, was married to one of the daughters of Charles Carroll, the signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Elizabeth Ogle, the artist's mother, was one of the fourteen children of Benjamin (1775-1844) and Anna Maria (Cooke) Ogle (1777-1856), grand daughter of Benjamin Ogle (1749-1809) who was governor of Maryland 1798-1801, great grand daughter of Samuel Ogle (c.1694-1752, provincial governor of Maryland 1731-1742 and 1747-1752.  Elizabeth was born in Annapolis, MD 29 August 1798 and married William Woodville at her father's residence, Belair, Prince George's County MD, on 27 June 1822.  William died in Baltimore 23 September 1863 and Elizabeth died in Switzerland 2 May 1881.

Richard Caton Woodville first married on 3 January 1845 to Mary Buckler, age 17, daughter of Dr. John Buckler of Baltimore, and secondly, married Theresa Antoinette Marie Schnitzler, daughter of Anton Schnitzler of Dusseldorf, Germany.

RCW and Mary (Buckler) Woodville had two children: Henry James Woodville, born in Dusseldorf 14 September 1845, and Elizabeth Woodville who died in Biarritz, France in August 1927.

RCW and Theresa (Schnitzler) Woodville also had two children: Alice Woodville and Richard Caton Woodville Jr., born in London January 7, 1856 and died in London August 17, 1927.  The latter was a well-known British artist.

Belair Mansion, dating back to 1745, still stands in Bowie MD and was restored in recent years.

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