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The Ringers of Launcells Tower, Frederick Smallfield (1829-1915) Featured Image

The Ringers of Launcells Tower, Frederick Smallfield (1829-1915)

Oil on canvas, English School, 1887. This painting was inspired by the poem The Ringers of Launcells Tower by Rev. R.S. Hawker of Morwenstow in his book Cornish Ballads and Other Poems'. In this poem, the bell ringers who rang at the accession of George III in 1760 were still alive to ring at his golden jubilee in 1810. The church of Launcells is midway between Stratton and Bude. The picture was painted 77 years after George III's golden jubilee and so is a total reconstruction. There is, therefore, no possibility that the figures are actual portraits of the 1810 ringers. Nevertheless, Smallfield had visited the church tower before he started the painting but made certain alterations to the layout for artistic reasons. He also studied the bell ringers at his local church in Willesden, north west London, to get the action and the angle of the ropes correct. A watercolour version of this painting was exhibited at the Watercolour Society in 1878. Frederick Smallfield studied at the Royal Academy and subsequently exhibited there several times. He lived for most of his life in London and at Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire

© RIC

Pednandrea stamps and mine dressing floor at Wheal Sparnon, Redruth, Cornwall. 1865 Featured Image

Pednandrea stamps and mine dressing floor at Wheal Sparnon, Redruth, Cornwall. 1865

The area in the photograph is now covered by Clinton Road, Park Road and Albany Road, Redruth. According to the Ordnance Survey Six Inch map Cornwall LXIII. NE, surveyed 1877 to 1879, the mine is disused at that time. By the same OS area map Cornwall LXIII. NE Revised 1906, the whole are is covered in housing. The mine produced copper, as well as traces of cobalt and gold. Thomas Spargo states in his book, The Mines of Cornwall (1865), that "Wheal Sparnon was in the the parish of Redruth, Cornwall, in 6,000 shares. Secretary, Mr G.H. Cardozo, London. Purser, Mr W.P. Cardozo, Camborne. Manager, Captain Wm. Tregay, Redruth. Rocks, granite and clay-slate, 60 men employed in the mine, operations on the surface of which commenced in 1864. Land owner, Lord Clinton. Dues 1-20th. Depth of adit, 18 fathoms; depth under adit, 60 fathoms. A 70-inch pumping-engine just completed, also a 22-inch winding-engine. Little has been as yet been done by the Company under the surface; but it is generally believed that enormous quantities of tin will be raised after the mine has been cleared of water". Photographer: Probably Henry Opie

© From the collection of the RIC

Timber Barque off Pendennis, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) Featured Image

Timber Barque off Pendennis, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)

Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, 1897. Henry Scott Tuke was born into a Quaker family in Lawrence Street, York. In 1859 the family moved to Falmouth, where his father Daniel Tuke , a physician, established a practice. Tuke was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age and some of his earliest drawings, aged four or five years old, were published in 1895. In 1875, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art. Initially his father paid for his tuition but in 1877 Tuke won a scholarship, which allowed him to continue his training at the Slade and in Italy in 1880. From 1881 to 1883 he was in Paris where he met the artist Jules Bastien-Lepage, who encouraged him to paint en plein air (in the open air) a method of working that came to dominate his practice. While studying in France, Tuke decided to move to Newlyn, Cornwall where many of his Slade and Parisian friends had already formed the Newlyn School of painters. He received several lucrative commissions there, after exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy of Art in London. In 1885, he returned to Falmouth where many of his major works were produced. He became an established artist and was elected to full membership of the Royal Academy in 1914. Tuke suffered a heart attack in 1928 and died in March 1929. In his will he left generous amounts of money to some of the men who, as boys, had been his models. Today he is remembered mainly for his oil paintings of young men, but in addition to his achievements as a figurative painter, he was an established maritime artist and produced as many portraits of sailing ships as he did human figures. He was a prolific artist, over 1,300 works are listed and more are still being discovered

© RIC