FIGURES BESIDE THE ARNO, NEAR FLORENCE
Watercolour with bodycolour
16 x 22cm
Anonymous Sale, Christie's, London, 10.07.1990, Lot 54 [with the same title];
Private Collection, South East U.K.
Alfred Gomersal Vickers was born in Lambeth, the son of the artist Alfred Vickers, a little-documented but succesful artist and art master. Alfred Jr. received his training from his father, learning to paint in both oils and watercolours. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the British Institution and, unlike his father, the New Watercolour Society.
He specialised in marine views but was also adept at figure painting and architectural subjects. He is chiefly remembered for the works resulting from a commission, which he received in 1833, to paint sketches of Russia for publication. These views are now dispersed but are among the first British watercolours of the Russian heartland, with views of St Petersburg and Moscow.
Alfred Jr. displayed noteworthy ability and his reputation had begun to surpass his father's (his abilities certainly had done so); however his life was cut short in January of 1837, only a few months after his Russian pictures had been published in various popular Annuals. Today his works can be found in numerous public collections, including the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Yale Centre for British Art.