The Pilgrimage to Canterbury, Thomas Stothard (1755-1834)
Oil on panel, English School, late 18th / early 19th century. Thomas Stothard was born in London and was apprenticed to a draughtsman of silk pattern designs in Spitalfields. When his master died, he attended the Royal Academy in 1778, was elected a Royal Academician in 1794 and, having been taken under the wing of Sir Joshua Reynolds, devoted much of his skill to engravings and illustrations. Stothard worked prodigiously, his family portraits funding much of his art schooling. He admired Rubens and although his paintings are often small in size, they reflect Rubens' colours and composition. This painting shows just one small part of The Pilgrimage to Canterbury. The finished painting (Tate N01163) includes around thirty characters and is almost a metre in length. The engraver and publisher Robert Cromek commissioned this painting from Stothard. He then put it on display and charged visitors a shilling to see it. He also collected subscriptions for the forthcoming print of the painting. William Blake, then a close friend of Stothard, claimed that Cromek had commissioned a painting of the Canterbury Pilgrims from him first, but that Cromek had not liked his design and so took the commission to Stothard. Blake then accused Cromek and, through him, Stothard of copying his long, frieze-like composition. Blake was furious when Stothard's resulting work spring boarded his career and brought about numerous important commissions. It is unlikely that Blake's accusations were well-founded, but the dispute effectively ended Blake and Stothard's friendship.
Distant view of St Merryn Church with horse and trap and figure from Treveglos, St Merryn, Cornwall. 1906
Distant view of St Merryn Church from the farmyard at Treveglos. The man standing is Wesley Hawken, a farmer at St Merryn in 1906. The horses and 'carriage' are supposed to have come from Prideaux Place, Padstow. Taken at the same time as TRURI : MERgv.115 (by John Charles Burrow), a few feet to the right. Date 1906. Photographer: Herbert Hughes.
© From the collection of the RIC
After the Bathe, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)
Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, late 19th century / early 20th century. Portrait of a nude adolescent boy drying himself with towel. 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.