Frederick George Cotman was a East Anglian painter of portraits, landscape, genre and historical scenes. He was the son of Henry Cotman and the nephew of the artist John Sell Cotman.
Cotman entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1868. He was a regular exhibitor of both oils and watercolours, showing at the Royal Academy from 1871 onwards. His The Death of Eucles (Town Hall, Ipswich) won him a gold medal in 1873.
Cotman's early watercolours were admired and bought by important artistic figures such as Frederic Leighton and G. F. Watts. Leighton engaged Cotman to help paint The Daphnephoria in 1876. Cotman was also employed in a similar capacity by H. T. Wells. Whistler too admired Cotman's work, and, in a letter of 1888 to Walter Dowdeswell, spoke approvingly of Cotman's current work on exhibition as 'very pretty' (#00903).
Cotman exhibited three of his works at the Royal Society of British Artists, a society which had elected Whistler its President in June 1886. He also exhibited at Agnew and Sons Gallery, the Dudley Gallery, Dowdeswell Galleries, Fine Art Society, Grosvenor Gallery, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Royal Institute of Oil Painters and Walker's Gallery in London. Outside London, he showed his work at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery, the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy.
Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Johnson, J. and A. Greutzner, The Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; Wood, Christopher, Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Woodbridge, 1971.