Goodman, Robert Gwelo (1871 – 1939)

Robert Gwelo Goodman was born in Taplow, England in 1871. Gwelo Goodman came to South Africa from
England as a teenager. He studied briefly at the Academie Julian in Paris from 1895 – 1897 under 2 rigorous
teachers, William Bouguerau and Gabriel Ferrier, whose attention to drawing, anatomy and perspective was
either imitated or hated, depending upon their students’ inclination. There is little doubt that Goodman learned
much from them.

Like J.H. Amshewitz, Goodman was an excellent draughtsman. This skill, which he turned to landscape painting,
won him early acceptance by the Royal Academy in London, where three of his works were exhibited in 1898. In
1900 he painted the battlefields of the Anglo-Boer war in South Africa, then returned to England, adopting Gwelo
(the name of the Rhodesian town founded in 1895) as his second name, thereby labelling himself as a colonial
artist.

Travelling and painting in India and England, he returned to South Africa in 1911 and settled first in Johannesburg
and after 1920, in Cape Town. There were numerous collectors in South Africa who endorsed his private
judgement, even long after his death it is seldom that a Gwelo Goodman picture, comes up for sale.


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