8th December 1869

Naftel’s paintings go on display

Paul Jacob Naftel was born in Guernsey in 1817 to a clock and watch maker who also sold painting supplies in his St Peter Port shop. The younger Naftel taught himself painting, then instructed others in the subject at Elizabeth College (25 May). In December 1869, a major exhibition of his work was mounted at the Winter Exhibition of the Water Colour Society (this is likely the Royal Watercolour Society, then called the Society of Painters in Water-colours, to which Naftel was elected in 1856).

By then, Naftel’s fame had spread far beyond Guernsey thanks to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s visit to the Bailiwick in 1846. He painted a scene of her stop on Guernsey, which he submitted to the queen herself. Copies of it which were also published in the Illustrated London News.

A prolific artist

Naftel produced more than 1000 paintings during his lifetime, 20 years of which was spent at Elizabeth College. However, as his fame grew he moved to the mainland and settled in London in 1870. This allowed him to travel more widely than his previous home on Guernsey ever had done. In 1985, Guernsey Post Office released a series of stamps celebrating his work, the covering notes for which outline how he showed a particular interest in northern England and Scotland.

Many of his works were exhibited in a dedicated Naftel Gallery on London’s New Bond Street.
Paul Jacob Naftel died in Twickenham in 1891, one year after the death of his daughter, Maud Naftel, who was herself just starting to enjoy some success as a painter in her own right.


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Other events that occured in December

French fishing boats prepare to invade 1st
Two cargo ships collide on their way to Guernsey 2nd
Guernseyman Herbert Le Patourel wrongly thought killed 3rd
A Guernsey funeral takes place in Cornwall 4th
Guernsey steamship SS Rossgull is wrecked 5th
The Guernsey Tapestry is completed 6th
Air UK Fokker overshoots Guernsey runway 7th
Naftel’s paintings go on display 8th
Guernsey and Jersey newspapers agree to merge 9th
Sark holds its first election 10th
Beau Sejour opens for business 11th
Victor Hugo flees France and Napoleon 12th
Explorer Edmund Kennedy is speared to death 13th
Author Mary Ann Shaffer is born
Herm bribery case comes to court 14th
Alderney’s evacuees return to their island 15th
Guillaume de Beauvoir appointed dean of English Church in Geneva 16th
Castle Cornet surrenders to Guernsey 17th
Telex, phones and telegram cables go quiet 18th
Guernsey shipwreck results in starvation 19th
Channel Islands Securities Exchange founded 20th
G-COBO has a bumpy flight 21st
Guernsey struck by an earthquake 22nd
William Hedley Cliff buys Jethou 23rd
Wombles author Liza Beresford dies 24th
Asterix is discovered in St Peter Port harbour 25th
Guille and Alles lease the Assembly Rooms 26th
The Red Cross saves Guernsey from starvation 27th
Operation Hardtack targets the Channel Islands 28th
Ebenezer Le Page author GB Edwards dies 29th
Castle Cornet is struck by lightning 30th
Guernsey Police makes the world’s first underwater arrest 31st