Newlyn School, 19th Century

Newlyn School, 19th Century

Code: 4036


W: 51cm (20.1")H: 61cm (24")

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A fine late 19th century Newlyn School oil on canvas portrait of a Cornish man. Fine quality portrait of the elderly working man seated in a chair wearing dark clothing and a red scarf, with a beautiful dappled light falling on his face.

Very close in style and quality to the work of the Newlyn School pioneers Edwin Harris and Stanhope Alexander Forbes.

James Lanham, St. Ives, Cornwall stamp on the reverse of the canvas - this popular Cornish artist's supplier made weekly trips to the artist colony at Newlyn.

Artist: Newlyn School, 19th century
Title: Portrait of a Cornish Man
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 24 x 20 inches (61 x 51 cm)
Small patch repair verso

The Newlyn School was an art colony of artists based in or near Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, on the south coast of Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early twentieth century. The establishment of the Newlyn School was reminiscent of the Barbizon School in France, where artists fled Paris to paint in a more pure setting emphasising natural light. These schools along with a related California movement were also known as En plein air.

Some of the first British artists to settle in the area had already travelled in Brittany, but found in Newlyn a comparable English environment with a number of things guaranteed to attract them: fantastic light, cheap living, and the availability of inexpensive models.

The artists were fascinated by the fishermen's working life at sea and the everyday life in the harbour and nearby villages. Some paintings showed the hazards and tragedy of the community's life, such as women anxiously looking out to sea as the boats go out, or a young woman crying on hearing news of a disaster.

Walter Langley is generally recognised as the pioneer of the Newlyn art colony and Stanhope Forbes, who settled there in 1884, as the father of it. The later Forbes School of Painting, founded by Forbes and his wife Elizabeth in 1899, promoted the study of figure painting.