|Summer morning over Mount's Bay from Penzance.
|Fishing nets; Newlyn.
During more clement days the particular brightness that bathes and intensifies everything in its path can give rise to breathtaking effects.
|Misty, mystical view of St Michael's Mount by my brother (thanks Joe!)
|Cliff tops near Land's End.
Just as Parisian artists had left the grime and grisaille of Paris in order to paint in the pure air and luminosity of Barbizon these British post-Impressionist painters 'en plein air' found that this region of Cornwall offered similar subject matter yet required considerably less travel, especially since the Great Western railway had linked Penzance to London in the latter part of the 19th century. The artist Stanhope Forbes was to remark that "Newlyn is a sort of English Concarneau" and the initial artist group was to reach a high point in the years before the First World War.
|Never A Morning Wore to Evening. Walter Langley 1894
|A Fish Sale. Stanhope Forbes 1884
|Study for A Fish Sale. Stanhope Forbes 1884
Langley never forgot his humble beginnings, indeed far from it. He said of his work that it "reflects the
concern for the persistent hardship faced by the poor" and not surprisingly his political leanings were markedly Left wing. He felt empathy and sympathy for the communities around him and had a particular sensitivity for the womenfolk who, like his own mother, suffered so much hardship. Dramatic works such as 'Never a Morning wore to Evening but some Heart did Break'
show the tragedy often visited on such communities....
By 1883 there were several more artists in the Newlyn colony but it was with the arrival of Stanhope Forbes 'Father of the Newlyn School' in 1884 that the group truly took form and gained recognition. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, Forbes' first Newlyn painting met significant success and this incited other artists to settle in Cornwall.
|For Such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Frank Bramley 1891
Other artists established themselves but chose to settle in St Ives, Lelant, Falmouth rather than in Newlyn itself. Little by little the early artistic colony declined somewhat and in 1899 Stanhope Forbes and his wife, Elizabeth, founded an art establishment, the Newlyn School of Painting. It was around this time that Norman Garstin produced his famous work 'The Rain it Raineth'.
|The Rain in Raineth. Norman Garstin 1889.
The school of painting drew in another generation of artists to Newlyn, Dod and Ernest Procter being among them, but also Laura and Harold Knight and Frank Gascoigne Heath. Thus the Newlyn artistic community adapted itself to a new century and new artistic endeavours, whilst retaining an essential luminosity and mood.