One of Louisiana’s most beloved artists, George Frederick Castleden was actually born in Canterbury, England in 1861. From a young age, Castelden had a fascination with drawing, and he pursued this craft under the guidance of a well-known British artist, Thomas Sidney Cooper. It was under Cooper’s instruction that Castleden decided to pursue a career as an artist, enrolling at the South Kensington School of Art. He furthered his studies after moving to Canada at the age of twenty-seven, taking classes at the Canada Regina Institute.
After moving to North America, Castleden became enamored with the rustic scenes he discovered at every turn. In 1903, he decided to become a traveling landscape painter in the rural United States, but it was his visit to New Orleans in 1911 that would solidify his attraction to America. In 1917, he opened a studio at 622 St. Peter Street while also running a gallery in the historic Cabildo. Besides the limitless inspiration New Orleans provided, the community of artists surrounding him had a profound effect upon Castleden, and he came to be associated with the French Quarter Renaissance.
In New Orleans, Castleden’s work focused on the unique architecture of his adopted home. He drew inspiration from the quaint courtyards and iron gates that lined that streets of the Historic French Quarter. In 1945, Castleden’s prolific career ended when he developed bronchial pneumonia and passed away at the age of eighty-three.
Kheel, Claudia. “George Castleden.”KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana. Ed. David Johnson. Louisiana
Endowment for the Humanities, 30 Aug. 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.