Jubilee Procession in a Cornish Village, A.G. Sherwood Hunter (1846-1919)
Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, June 1897. This painting is a wonderful record of a lantern procession held to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The women and girls in the procession, all dressed in white and carrying Chinese lanterns, are shown snaking their way through the Cornish fishing village of Newlyn. George Sherwood Hunter was born in Aberdeen and visited Newlyn around the turn of the century. He settled there permanently in 1902 where he taught alongside Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes at the Newlyn School of Painting. Like many artists associated with the Newlyn School, Hunter was interested in depicting working people around the ports and villages of Cornwall. The painting underwent considerable conservation and restoration in 2010 which meant that, for the first time in over 100 years, the exquisitely painted faces of those in the procession could be seen in all their subtle glory. The delicate beauty in the children's faces is made more remarkable when one takes into consideration the very limited palette Hunter works with.
© RIC, photographer Mike Searle
The wreck of the collier Bessie, with all that remains of the wrecked Vulture in the surf beyond, Carbis Bay, Lelant, Cornwall. 1893
A view of the Bessie wrecked at Carbis Bay, broadside to the surf, with the machinery of the Vulture beyond. SS Bessie (ON 49984) was an iron three masted brigantine rigged steamer of 287 tons gross, built in 1865 for the busy Hayle to Bristol trade and launched by Harvey and Company of Hayle. She was sold in 1889 to James Richards of Penarth and ran aground at Carbis Bay on 18th November 1893 while carrying coal from Cardiff to Portland, under the command of Captain David Moloney. Cintra and Vulture were wrecked on the same occasion. On page 84 of Cornish Shipwrecks, by Clive Carter, is a description of the days events: 'On 17th November 1893 came the 'Cintra Gale'. It had been a particularly stormy month, and soon after the 418-ton iron collier Cintra of Liverpool left Newport old dock for Dartmouth on the night of the 15th the wind again freshened from the ESE. It increased, and at 4pm next day Captain Henry Green of Brixham anchored in seven fathoms a mile off Carbis Bay. A few hours later another collier fled for shelter, the 345-ton Vulture of Cardiff, Hole master, and likewise bound for Dartmouth. At dusk they were joined by none other than the Bessie, whose anchor clattered down only half a mile from where she had grounded in 1866. She was bound from Cardiff to Portland under the command of Captain David Maloney. Captain Green of the Cintra prepared to slip and steam seaward, but huge seas were already smashing on board. Stanchions were buckled, ventilators snapped off, and at 2am the windlass seized up, jamming the anchor chains solid. As dawn broke the gale made its final shift to NNE; the Cintra was ready to sink at anchor, and men who tried to cut the fouled chains with hammers and chisels were driven back to shelter of the bridge. Captain Green hoisted a distress signal and gave orders for the lifeboat to be lowered but it capsized as it touched the water, and chief engineer Rogers, fire-man Summers and two able seamen disappeared in the surf. As Cintra lurched on to the sands it was every man for himself. Captain Green, steward Jones, two engineers and a fire-man jumped overboard, but able seaman Ash of Brixham, though handed a lifebelt by the captain, stayed behind, hoping the collier would ebb dry. The others were dragged ashore by coastguards and rocket men, but the chief engineer and the fireman died half an hour after rescue. Meanwhile, the crew of the Vulture, all of whom came from St Ives and Hayle, were landing by breeches-buoy. A few minutes after Captain Hole came ashore the Cintra, which lay only 100 yards away, suddenly broke up, drowning able seaman Ash. The Bessie's crew were also soon rescued, though the gale at this time was sufficient to stop dead both morning trains a mile from Carbis Bay, where the GWR branch line from St Erth crossed the exposed dunes. Later in the day the 936-ton iron screw steamer Rosedale of London, Dickenson master, in ballast from Southampton to Cardiff, wallowed past St Ives pier and went broadside on to Porthminster beach'. Photographer: Unknown.
© From the collection of the RIC
Boy Rowing out from Rocky Shore, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)
Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, 1890. 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.