George Goodwin Kilburne, RBA RI ROI (1839-1924) George Goodwin Kilburne worked in both oil and watercolour to produce highly detailed scenes of historical and contemporary genre. These became particularly popular through the dissemination of engraved reproductions.
George Goodwin Kilburne was born at Hackford, near Reepham in Norfolk, on 24 July 1839. He was the eldest child of Goodwin Kilburne of Hawkhurst, Kent, who acted as the Principal of Tudor Hall Academy. At the age of 15, he moved to London to receive an apprenticeship in wood engraving from the Dalziel brothers and, in 1862, married Janet, the daughter of the painter, Robert Dalziel.
In the early 1860s, Kilburne turned to painting and, from 1863, exhibited at various societies, including the Royal Academy. He was elected to the New Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1866 (renamed the Royal Institute in 1883), the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1883, the Royal Miniature Society in 1898, and the Royal Society of British Artists.
He was also a member of the Artists’ Society and Langham Sketching Club. His paintings became popular as prints and as reproductions published in a number of magazines, including The Graphic (1873-77). Following the death of Napoleon III in exile in Chislehurst, in 1873, the Empress Eugénie commissioned Kilburne to paint images of several of the rooms that he had occupied.
Kilburn travelled extensively in Italy and elsewhere in the mid 1870s. Around the same time, the architects, Batterbury and Huxley, built Hawkhurst House for him at 39 Steeles Road, Haverstock Hill, Hampstead – a popular area for artists. Seven years after the death of his first wife in 1882, he married again. His later work includes many designs for greeting cards for Raphael Tuck & Sons and De La Rue.
At the time of his death, on 26 June 1924, Kilburne was living at 16 Albion Road, Swiss Cottage. However, he died at 38 Steeles Road, the home of his daughter, Florence.
Of the five children from his first marriage, George Goodwin Kilburne Jnr also became an artist. He also had two children with his second wife.
His work is represented in the collections of Manchester Art Gallery.