Art & Design Magazine

Frederick Francis Foottet: A Forgotten Master

By Adventuresintheprinttrade
The English Impressionist/Symbolist Frederick Francis Foottet was born in Yorkshire in 1850. Foottet made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1873, and continued to exhibit up to the 1930s. As a printmaker, Foottet made etchings from 1890, and colour lithographs from 1900. F. F. Foottet's first painting accepted by the Royal Academy was entitled December. Ruskin praised it, but added, "Yes, the artist is painting trees, but is he sure that he can draw a leaf?" Foottet then spent several months of intensive study of fruit and leaves under Ruskin's personal instruction. After this, Foottet left London to settle in Derby.
Frederick Francis Foottet: A Forgotten MasterFrederick Francis Foottet, Waterfall by moonlightLithograph, 1900
This evocative colour lithograph by Foottet was published by The Studio, whose correspondent praised Foottet's "subtle and imaginative landscape work in lithography". Exposure to the work of the Impressionists and Symbolists had freed Foottet from the constrictions of Ruskin's moral earnestness, and under its influence he developed his mature style, of which the Studio correspondent wrote, "It has been said that Mr. Foottet is among the few living artists whose landscapes are symbolistic and charged with human emotion. True enough, and if this mystical and poetic way of treating Nature is appreciated far oftener in prose than in paint, it is none the less very noteworthy to all who take serious interest in the productions of true artists." Frederick Francis Foottet died in 1935. His art still awaits a modern re-evaluation.

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