Alfred Gomersal Vickers was a British painter and draughtsman of topographical views and landscapes.
One can’t discuss the life and career of this high-achieving artist without first considering his brief lifespan. Born in 1810, the son of landscape painter Alfred Vickers (1786-1868), he died at just 27 having already produced a remarkable array of accomplished works. The nature of his early death is hard to fathom but he certainly left a mark on the art world during his short career.
Trained by his father, Vickers was influenced by the watercolourists Richard Parkes Bonington and François Louis Thomas Francia. Both exquisite draughtsmen. A precocious talent, at 17, he debuted at the Royal Academy with ‘A Market Boat Off Harwich’ and a year later he achieved a gold medal at the Society of Arts. All the leading venues beckoned - the British Institution, Suffolk Street, and the New Watercolour Society to name but a few.
Alfred Gomersal Vickers, Hever Castle
Gaining a sterling reputation as a painter of marine scenes and architecture, in 1833, Charles Heath (1785-1848) commissioned him to produce sketches of various Russian sights. He was paid £500 for this project, which is the equivalent of over £40,000 today. It appears that during this time, he also travelled to Germany, Prussia, and Poland. And following these trips undertook further excursions to Belgium, France, and Switzerland.
Upon his return, with the critics taking note of his considerable development, his career was cut short. With the only press entry of any note advertising a sale of his works at Christie’s.
“The reputation which this gifted artist had acquired for truth of delineation will make his sketches highly desirable to the topographer as well as the collector.”
Alfred Gomersal Vickers achieved considerable success during his ten-year career and we’re left with only a glimpse of what he could’ve ultimately become.
Vickers is represented at the British Museum, The Met Museum, V&A, Royal Museums Greenwich, Norfolk Museums, Eton College, The Courtauld, London, National Maritime Museum and the National Trust.
His son, Alfred Henry Vickers (1834-1919) also became a painter.
Born in Lambeth, England, to Alfred Vickers, an artist, and Mary Agnes Vickers.
Awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts.
Commissioned by Charles Heath to produce sketches for ‘The Annuals’.
Married Mary Liverseege.
Travelled to Germany, Prussia, Russia, and Poland.
Birth of son, Alfred Henry Vickers.
Travelled to Belgium, France, and Switzerland.
Died in Pentonville, Islington, England.