Edward Angelo Goodall, R.W.S. was born the 8th of June 1819. He was the eldest son of Edward Goodall, the well known line engraver, and his brother was the celebrated Royal Academy painter Frederick Goodall.
His first oil painting was a Guyana subject which impressed Turner who was on the managing committee at the Royal Academy. He had the picture hung in a first rate place where it received considerable admiration.
In 1856, Goodall was invited to join the Watercolour Society and from that time on he devoted himself to that medium.
He began exhibiting in the Royal Academy in 1841 and continued until 1884. In 1870 he went to Egypt with his brother Frederick and one day, while sketching the views of ancient Memphis, a woman overbalanced herself in filling her pitcher in the river. Seeing this, Edward jumped into the Nile and with much effort rescued her from drowning. The next day she received several offers of marriage, being considered under “Divine protection.”
During this period, Queen Victoria had taken an interest in his work and gave him permission to paint from any of the windows in the palace.
At a dinner held at Goodall’s home, several artists were invited including John Dixon, the engineer. Conversation eventually centered on Cleopatra’s Needle in Egypt and John Dixon suggested that it be brought to England. He said that if he had the money he would do it himself. Shortly thereafter, Erasmus Wilson, who was also at Goodall’s party, called on John Dixon and offered the money to bring the obelisk over. This was eventually done where it was placed in London.