Today, we travel to the city of Birmingham to visit the son of a fish monger. #FrederickMercer (1850-1939) came from humble beginnings. He began his work life at the age of 10 as an errand boy and by the age of 20 he was employed as a photographer. At some point he started to draw and paint and by the 1881 census he was described as an artist specialising in watercolour landscapes. He painted many scenes from Wales and the Midlands, mostly landscapes, rivers scenes, mills and cottages, an occasional figure painting, genre subjects and coastal scenes. He exhibited regularly from 1871 to 1911, some 116 works in total. In 1883, he moved from Birmingham to “Radmoor Wood”, Abbots Bromley, Rugeley in Staffordshire.
We see a superb example of Mercer’s work above. I acquired it earlier this week. Wonderful vibrant colours with an idyllic scene give this watercolour a peaceful and endearing charm. Somewhat reminiscent of an artist by the name of Myles Birket Foster – a contemporary of Mercer’s.