Criminal illustrator William Buelow Gould
Long ago, when the earth was still young, the fish in the sea and all living things on earth were not destroyed, a man named William Buelow Gould was sentenced to life imprisonment in the worst penal colony in the British Empire, where he was commissioned to paint a book of fish. His alcoholism and petty crimes regularly sent him to prison until his death in 1853. Some of his paintings were declared World Heritage Site in 2011. William Buelow Gould was born in Liverpool in 1801. About his childhood and youth, almost nothing is known, the researchers suggest that he studied painting under the guidance of the Irish painter and German lithographer, worked in a porcelain art studio.
November 7, 1826, Gould was sentenced to 7 years in prison and sent to Australia, the worst penal colony of the British Empire. Like most of the convicts, he never came back and never saw his family – his wife and two children. His crime was a stolen coat, but it was the second sentence.
And yet there is a perception that if a person is talented, he is talented in everything. But this is not about Gould. He was a talented, damn talented illustrator – naturalist, but an incompetent thief. Caught twice. In prison, he continued to commit petty theft, and indulge in alcohol made fake paintings, which led him into one of the most complex of prisons on the island, where the worst criminals were kept.
After a series of adventures, which had happened all his life, and the prison was no exception, he became friends with the employee amateur – naturalist. It seems that he ordered patterns of marine life. Staying in jail, Gould drew and painted.
Today known 36 stunning watercolors of fish and other wildlife paintings. He created them from the example of marine specimens caught in the ocean. Until now, they are unsurpassed, made at the highest technical level. Some of his paintings were declared World Heritage Site in 2011.
William Buelow Gould was released in 1835, stayed in Australia, married again, but his alcoholism and petty crimes regularly sent him to prison until his death in 1853.