The Cornish Art Gallery - Paintings for sale - Artists A-I
Sir John William Ashton (1881-1963)
Waves breaking on the shore
oil on board, 26 x 36 cms (framed 40 x 50 cms),
signed bottom right
Ashton was an Australian artist, who was knighted for his services to Australian art. He rated the five years between 1900-5 that he spent studying under Julius Olsson in St Ives as the most important period of his life, and he was treated like a son by Olsson. Indeed, he came across from Australia in 1915 to take over the St Ives School of Painting, albeit this was thwarted by the outdoor sketching ban. He retained close links with St Ives and his old tutors (Olsson and Talmage) and student colleagues (e.g. Hayley Lever, Emily Carr, Hilda Fearon, Ethel Carrick Fox, Arthur Burgess) all his life, becoming a member of STISA in the 1930s. He was a hugely important figure in promoting the St Ives colony in Australia, arranging for a number of Australian Galleries to buy St Ives paintings. He also recommended his own students to study in St Ives on their European tours.
This work may not be a Cornish scene but it is a delightful example of the marine painting skills that he learnt in St Ives and is very attractively framed.
John Noble Barlow
The Return of the Fleet, St Ives - Early Morning (RA 1902)
oil on canvas, 60 x 89 cms
signed bottom left
This Royal Academy exhibit is without doubt Barlow's finest depiction of the harbour at St Ives and it still is framed in its magnificent ornate original gilt scroll frame, no doubt from Lanhams. The return of the fleet in the early hours, with each boat having a lantern lit in its bows, was a vista that Folliott Stokes described as being as magnificent as a Venetian festa and which Helene Schjerfbeck drooled over but thought unpaintable. Here Barlow has shown areas on the left in sufficient darkness to reveal the lanterns burning bright, but has also depicted an attractive sunrise on the right. This is of a quality to be a Museum piece. Both painting and frame have been cleaned.
Beatrice Bright ASWA (1861-1946)
oil on canvas, 60 x 40 cms (framed 82 x 62 cms)
signed bottom right
Beatrice Bright was a London-based seascape and portrait painter, who appears to have come down to St Ives to receive tuition on marine painting from Julius Olsson. She was the daughter of Sir Charles Tilston Bright (1832-1888), a British electrical engineer who oversaw the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable in 1858, for which work he was knighted. She studied art under Sir Arthur Cope, and first exhibited at SWA in 1891, being made an Associate in 1897. In the period to 1919, she exhibited there 57 times. She was also hung 23 times at the Royal Academy between 1905 and 1946. She is first recorded in St Ives in January 1909, when she was signed in to the Arts Club by Olsson and he did so again in January the following year. Between 1910-1914, she exhibited a number of seascapes at SWA, including Seashore at St Ives, Cornwall (£15) in 1912 and St Ives, Cornwall (£21) in 1914. This painting of Porthmeor Bay was illustrated in colour in my Social History and was included in the exhibition devoted to the St Ives Schools of Landscape and Marine painting that I curated for Worcester Art Gallery in 2014. Five of her seascapes are owned by public collections, with Birmingham Art Gallery having Trevose Head, Cornwall and Atlantic Rollers.
Charles David Jones Bryant ROI RBA (1883-1937)
St Ives Harbour
Just Landed, St Ives Harbour
a pair, oil on board, each 19 x 24 cms
£1,700 each or
£3,000 the pair
This delightful pair of small oils of the harbour were originally part of the famous Trehayes collection before I acquired them. Bryant, who became Australia's leading marine painter, was a student of Olsson in St Ives in the years 1911-14 - in fact, he described himself as Olsson's last student. He spent various later periods in St Ives as well, with a number of his St Ives paintings from the early 1920s being in Australian public collections, whilst most of his mid-1930s RA exhibits, when he joined STISA, were also St Ives scenes.
Bryant first came to England in 1908 and was forced to perform on the music hall stage as 'The Great Harko' to aid his funds during his early art training. He later waxed lyrical about his time as a student in St Ives and acknowledged his huge debt to Julius Olsson, whom he called “a commanding personality....a fine type of man, who painted in a large studio with big brushes on huge canvases, and had also a large heart, and gave ready help to all about him.” Indeed, he indicated that the great feature about St Ives was “the wonderful, unselfish comradeship in the artistic community. They all helped each other. That was what made St Ives such a happy place. Then, all was surrounded by art. The very time for meals was regulated by the daylight. There was the chance of studying others’ work, and of obtaining criticism and suggestions from men of great experience and eminence.”
On his premature death, the Melbourne Herald commented, “No Australian painter was so widely popular among fellow artists and others. His genial personality and engaging smile were almost as well known in London as they were in Australia.”
For more on his career and his debt to St Ives, see Issue 3 of The Siren
Frederick T W Cook RWA (1907-1982)
The Smuggler's Cottage and The Three Pilchards Inn, Polperro
Entering Harbour, Polperro
a pair of gouaches, 24 x 34 cms, (framed 44 x 54 cms)
£110 each or £190 the pair
Frederick Cook was one of the few long-term residents of Polperro, living there from 1947 until his death in 1982. He painted numerous depictions of the harbour and the town, always with a strong decorative impulse. Curving lines were central to striking designs, whilst the overall colour scheme, which could be merely a monotone, was enlivened by spots of bright colour, normally reserved for the hulls of the fishing boats. He was particularly keen on using gouache as a medium. Accordingly, his paintings of Polperro, at low and high tides and under ever-changing skies, are distinctive works.
These two works are mounted and framed in the same style and so make an excellent pair, but can be sold separately. The mounts on close inspection do show the beginnings of foxing, but I have not changed them due to the attractive wash-line. Right at the edge of each picture, there are some brown marks relating to glue used when they were mounted. These could be covered if the works were remounted.
Born in Hendon, London on 29th July 1907, Freddie Cook won scholarships to study at Hampstead School of Art and Willesden Polytechnic. From an early age, he spent every holiday in the West Country painting. He started his career as a poster designer, and became head designer in two London display firms and to Bristol Commercial Gas Association. He also designed posters for London County Council, one of which The Lighted Way was displayed by London Transport. In 1939, he married fellow artist, Margaret Rosemary Anyon (b.1914) in Hampstead; however, she liked to be addressed as Anyon rather than by one of her forenames.
On the outbreak of War, Freddie joined the Auxiliary Fire Service and became an official fireman-artist and a number of his wartime paintings are in the collection of the Imperial War Museum and Plymouth City Art Gallery. After recovering from a back injury suffered during the War when a building collapsed on him, Freddie settled in Polperro with Anyon in 1947. Their studio, ‘Harbour Studio’, overhung the harbour, and Freddie put up a walkway over the water and hung a boat from the railings. He used to fish for carp from there as the stream water met the sea water. They lived a primitive life style, swimming every morning, rain or shine, in the natural sea swimming pool in the harbour. He continued to receive design commissions from publishers such as Blackwells and, in 1951, he illustrated the dust-jacket for a book on Cornish harbours by Roland Roddis.
He joined STISA in 1952 and was a stalwart of the Society for thirty years, serving on the Council from 1965 until his death in 1982 from a heart attack. He was also made a member of RWA.
oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cms, (framed 60 x 70 cms)
signed bottom right
This painting originally attracted me as it was the first depiction I had seen of the ill-fated wooden pier at St Ives, which was begun in 1864, but which began to break up before it was finished. It was also painted in a naive style, which one might have expected from a 1920s work but not one from the 1870s. Although the artist is listed in the Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, nothing seemed to be known about him and so I did some research. It transpires that Daniell was a Bristol solicitor, who exhibited work at the Bristol Fine Art Academy. These included some paintings of St Ives in 1885-6. One of these was called The Old Pier, St Ives, After Sunset, but my painting probably dates from earlier, for it shows the wooden pier seemingly intact. The painting has a certain charming naivety about it and clearly the wooden pier has had to be foreshortened so that it fits on the canvas. However, it is useful for demonstrating that the end of the pier had a square section to it, as the original design was for a round end, but this was very soon demolished by the waves and needed to be rebuilt. There is no sign of any gap in the pier, but this may well be artistic licence.
Daniell was born in Bristol and was the seventh and last child of merchant, John Andrew Daniell (1813-1855) and Martha Matilda Tuckett (1817-1888). His father died when he was just over a year old and, at the time of the 1881 Census, he was living with his siblings, the eldest of which was also a solicitor, but he married Elizabeth Wheeler that July. However, they divorced, she died in California and he re-married the Scot, Alice Craigie (b.1865), all in 1894. He does not appear to have continued with his art after 1886. This work was included in the 2018 Bude exhibition St Ives - The New Pier - New Perspectives.
oil on board, 34 x 44 cms (framed 58 x 68 cms)
signed bottom right
Professor Rudolf Hellwag (1867-1942)
oil on canvas, 29 x 39 cms (framed 37 x 47 cms)
signed lower right
Hellwag was an Austrian artist, who lived in St Ives from 1900-2, during which time he studied marine painting, and continued to visit until 1910. He later settled in Germany, where he became a highly regarded art teacher. This work is a sketch for a painting that was illustrated in The Studio magazine in 1906, and it shows the timber wharves that were constructed at the entrance to Hayle Estuary. On the left are the well-known distinctive channel markers. Hellwag was well-known for his modern approach to painting and this work is boldly painted in a high tone. Public Collections holding Hellwag's work include Art Galleries in Karlsruhe, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Oldenburg and Rome (National Gallery of Modern Art). There is some slight damage to the frame, as shown in the photo.
Hellwag was born in Innsbruck, as his father, Guillaume, was then in charge of the construction of a railway there. The family then moved to Zurich, when his father was working at Gotthard, and Rudolph spent some years at school there. When his father died in Vienna, his mother returned to her ancient family home at Eutin, and it was the lakes and forests here that first led Hellwag to have artistic thoughts. He studied under Keller and Schönleber at the Karlsruhe Academy and won a bronze medal at an exhibition in Dresden in 1898. He was first signed in as a guest at the Arts Club in December 1896 by J Elgar Russell. He returned to settle in St Ives in 1900, intent on making a study of the sea in all its aspects. He stayed initially at 17 Tregenna Terrace before renting a house in Parken Roper (GER £32) until Christmas 1902. His wife, Annie, advertised lessons in Art Needlework (and French and German conversation) and he had an exhibition of his work in his studio behind the Western Hotel in November 1901. He exhibited on Show Day in the years 1900-1902,and had four works included in the Cornish Artists' Whitechapel Exhibition in 1902. He also exhibited Cornish coastal subjects at the NEAC between 1901 and 1903, at the RCPS in 1900 and 1902 and at Hull in 1902. He also exhibited several St Ives subjects in Munich - St Ives and Coast by St Gwithian in 1902 and Nach dem Fischzug (St Ives, England) in 1904.
Although he moved to Kensington in 1903, where he concentrated on depictions of The Thames, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, he returned to Cornwall from time to time and appears to have rented Rock Studio - the old mine engine house on Pednolva Point. His one success at the Royal Academy, in 1906, was a painting, Land’s End, and, in 1909, two of his works, Mackerel Season, St Ives and The Eternal Surge, were used as illustrations for Norman Garstin’s article in The Studio - West Cornwall as a Sketching Ground. He won a bronze medal at the International Exhibition in Buenos Aires in 1910 and also exhibited at Pittsburgh between 1911-14, one work in 1912 being called Haven in Cornwall.
After the War, he returned to Germany, and settled in Berlin. He had regular exhibitions of his work until his death there in February 1942. Several St Ives scenes were included in a major retrospective of 105 works held in Baden-Baden in 1947.
Thomas Oliver Hume (c.1833-1917)
St Ives Bay (possibly RA 1888)
oil on canvas,
It seems quite extraordinary to relate that, despite Thomas Hume exhibiting at the Royal Academy 24 times, this appears to be the only painting by him that has appeared on the market. Given the quality of the work, this is doubly surprising. Hume's second wife was Edith Dunn, a well-known Truro artist, and so from the date of their marriage in 1870, they paid repeated visits to Cornwall and exhibited Cornish works at a number of different venues. Thomas' Royal Academy exhibits indicate a particular interest in moorland scenes, but in 1888 he showed there a work entitled St Ives Bay. This may well be this painting, with its view out over St Ives Bay to Godrevy. In the foreground, a man loads his hay-cart, whilst through the field gate can be seen his wife and daughter at work. Beyond can be seen the buildings of the town at this juncture, with the Church Tower, Smeaton's Pier - not yet extended - and the masts of ships in the harbour. The grey tonality of the work is very much in keeping with the Newlyn School obsession with grey days in the late 1880s, perhaps suggesting that the work was executed en plein air. The work has been cleaned, is in good order and has an attractive period frame. It is a classic Newlyn School scene, but not at a Newlyn School price.