9 March 2013

Artists in Cornwall at Two Temple Place London

Previous posts here have touched on the artists working in and around Newlyn, Cornwall (SW England) at the end of the 19th century and on Stanhope Forbes’ en plein air realist masterpiece, Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach 1885 (detail in the poster above) which was lent last year to Compton Verney. This work and many others by artists based in West Cornwall from the 1880s to the 1920s feature in Two Temple Place’s exhibition Amongst Heroes: the Artist in Working Cornwall.

The Bulldog Trust’s intention is to bring publicly-owned art from around the UK to Two Temple Place, the opulent late-Victorian mansion built by William Waldorf Astor on London’s Embankment. This show draws on key works from the Royal Cornwall Museum and Penlee House Gallery and Museum and other public and private collections in Conrwall and elsewhere.


The successive galleries present a fine selection of paintings, many of them unfamiliar, and some other items dealing with various aspects of the work of the ordinary Cornish people of the period: fishing (Charles Napier Henry  Pilchards 1897, above)  crafts, agriculture and mining (Harold Harvey A China Clay Pit, Lewidden c1922, below), as well as individual portraits (Henry Scott Tuke Portrait of Jack Rowling 1888, right).

The exhibition is a delight if you are at all interested in art of this kind. Furthermore, admission is free and the catalogue a very reasonable price (though the quality of its reproductions is a little disappointing). ‘Anticipointment’ rating: a rare 1 out of 5, the lower being the better.

Amongst Heroes: the Artist in Working Cornwall continues until 14 April.

Quite different, but only a short walk away, is the Courtauld Gallery's Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901.

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