Artwork of the Month - February 2009
Artist: Octavius Oakley RWS (1800-1867)
Status: Permanent collection
Item No.: GMAG 2007.183
About the artist
Octavius Oakley was the father-in-law of the well known Guernsey 19th century watercolourist Paul Jacob Naftel. He was born in Bermondsey and worked in Derby and Leamington until 1841, when he moved to London.
Oakley first visited Guernsey in May 1844, possibly invited to the island by his future son-in-law. Once Oakley's daughter Isabel and Naftel were married, Oakley would return to Island regularly, painting charming character portraits of local children and rustic figures for which he was well known.
Another favourite subject matter of Oakley's was Gypsies. He became so well known for these Romanticised images that he earned the name of 'Gipsy Oakley'. Towards the end of his life he moved away from this subject, devoting most of his time to landscape painting.