Portrait of a Naval Cadet, circa 1850
A three-quarter-length portrait of a cadet, shown full-face. Dressed in a Naval cadet's uniform, 1846-56, he is turned slightly to the right. He holds his cap in his right hand and leans on a rock, with the sea visible in the right background. He holds his sheathed sword in his left hand and gazes directly at the viewer. The portrait is painted on board which bears the inscription 'Painted by Godwin Williams of Andover Terrace, Cheltenham at Stoke, Plymouth', on the reverse. Nothing is known about the sitter and little is known of the painter but they have left behind a haunting evocation of fresh-faced youth and anticipated duty. Williams appears to have spent some time in India painting Indian and British dignitaries and military officers (examples are in the collections of the British Library and the National Army Museum).
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