Video: Blue plaque unveiled for Colchester painter
09:25 22 May 2014
A blue plaque has been unveiled commemorating a Colchester artist.
Portrait painter Frank Daniell is best known for his works picturing mayors and prominent people in the town.
The Colchester Civic Society, itself celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, unveiled the plaque on the front of his former home in East Hill during a ceremony on Tuesday.
Doing the honours were David Daniell, a relative of Frank Daniell, and Pam Thompson, the niece of Gertrude Cardey, who was a sitter for one of his notable paintings A Colchester Blue Coat Girl.
To further mark the occasion there was a rare opportunity to see a Daniell portrait of his wife, a painting found accidentally by the current owners of the house Norman and Betty Warner rolled up in their roof space.
It has now been restored and the painting was brought from its secure location especially for the plaque unveiling.
Rosemary Jewers, a committee member of the Colchester Civic Society, said: “Blue plaques are important because they highlight the achievements and work of notable people in the area.
“They are also of great interest to the public, with details of the commemoration on the plaque, and even on the day of the unveiling I noticed people walking past and glancing up to read it, while one person even stopped to ask us about it.
“It was marvellous for everybody to see the painting which completely enthralled everyone.”
Daniell also painted landscapes and travelled Europe painting church interiors. His work was exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1889-1921 as well as in Paris, Berlin and Madrid.
The Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service collection has 22 of his paintings, some of which were commissioned by the Colchester Corporation for the opening of the new Town Hall in 1902.
Born in East Donyland in 1866, Frank Daniell’s mother died when he was young and records show by the age of 14, Frank had moved with his father and
siblings to West Stockwell Street, Colchester.
Daniell married Ethel Brignell and in the 1901 census the couple were staying at a hotel in London.
In 1902 Frank advertised his business at St Martin’s Studio, West Stockwell Street, and from 1906-1912 his studio was listed at 15A High Street, also given as his address in the 1911 census.
At some time later he moved to 8 East Hill where he died on March 11 1932 after suffering a heart attack ten days earlier.
He is buried in Colchester cemetery with his wife, who died in 1948. They had one son, Dirk, who died six years before Daniell.