The Fulton Bequest
The Fulton Bequest was established in 1907, atthe request of Mrs Annie Fulton of Penarth. She was the widow of Alderman Andrew Fulton who had been Mayor of Cardiff from 1884-5. In Mrs Fulton’s will, she bequeathed “Unto the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of the City for the purpose of placing in their City Hall her oil painting of the Holy Loch, Scotland by Mr James Greenless, free of legacy duty” (This painting is to be seen in function room D). In addition to her bequest of the painting, Mrs Fulton left one quarter of her residuary estate to the City of Cardiff “For or towards the completion of the decoration of the interior of the City Hall, and the purchase of paintings, statuary and other works of Art”. After settlement of the estate, the City received £3,327 and the following five paintings were acquired:
FROM FESTA OF THE MADONNA
DEL MARCO AT NAPLES’
|| Penry Williams was born in Merthyr Tydfil in
1798, the son of a house painter. Having worked
with his father for some years, he entered the
Royal Academy schools and studied under Fuseli.
In 1827 he moved to Rome where he remained
until his death in 1885.
This painting is characteristic of Williams' taste for romantic paintings of Italian life. With a still-smoking Vesuvius in the background, an ox-cart is decorated in honour of a festival of the Madonna and is accompanied by peasants in picturesque costume, processing in celebration. This is regarded as Perry Williams' materpiece, and was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1837. It is one of the finest paintings in the City Hall collection.
‘THE PENITENT’S RETURN’
||This painting bears the inscription:
“For every woe a tear may claim, except an erring
woman’s shame.” BYRON
The penitent, a young woman, has returned
to find the old cottage deserted, whilst her
re-appearance arouses local curiosity. Samuel
Luke Fildes was one of the foremost painters
of ‘social realist subjects, and his work often
sentimentalises the plight of the poor.
Fildes was born in Liverpool in 1843, and from the age of seventeen studies at the Royal Academy School. He then went on to work as an illustrator for "The Graphic" magazine, where his work caught the attention of Charles Dickens. Fildes went on to illustrate Dickens' "Mystery of Edwin Drood". Popular and successful, Fildes was also a notable portrait painter. He was knighted in 1906 and made KCVO in 1918. THe artist dies in 1927.
The painting is presently located in the Marble
Hall and was purchased through the Fulton
Bequest. The choice of such a work very much
reflects popular taste of the Edwardian period.
Joseph Farquharson was an enormously
successful artist of the late Victorian and
Edwardian era. This is an excellent example of his
style - scenes of rustic life, often moonlit or as in
this case, glowing in late winter sun. Farquharson
was recognised for the realism and detail of
his outstanding snow scenes. His works were
frequently copied, and therefore became widely
known, and enormously popular with the public.
||‘The Shadow’ was
painted in 1909 and is
a characteristic example
of the artist’s style. Blair
Leighton specialised in historical, but especially
medieval genre scenes. Born in 853, he regularly
exhibited at the Royal Academy, and his best
works usually depict romantic couples such as
these. Here, a young knight departing for battle,
has his shadowed rofile traced by a fair maiden.
The dramatic lighting and most photographic
realism makes this a fine example of lair
‘THE KNIGHTING OF
SIR WILLIAM CROSSMAN’
||This was the final painting to be acquired through
the funds of the Fulton Bequest, and was painted
in 1910. It actually depicts a scene three years
earlier, when the Lord Mayor, Alderman William
Crossman was knighted by King Edward VII on
the occasion of his visit to Cardiff. This marked
a moment of enormous local significance, as the
King and Queen were in the City in order to open
The queen Alexandra Dock, which was the final
and largest dock in the port.
The painter, William Hatherell was born in 1855.
Hatherell was well known for his atmospheric
paintings of literary, figurative and historical
subjects. The choice of subject reflects the
Council’s immense pride in this occasion, when it
was felt that Royal approval had been bestowed
upon the enterprise of the City. The artist died in
London in 1928.