The Ringers of Launcells Tower, Frederick Smallfield (1829-1915)
Oil on canvas, English School, 1887. This painting was inspired by the poem 'The Ringers of Launcells Tower' by Rev. R.S. Hawker of Morwenstow in his book 'Cornish Ballads and Other Poems'. In this poem, the bell ringers who rang at the accession of George III in 1760 were still alive to ring at his golden jubilee in 1810. The church of Launcells is midway between Stratton and Bude. The picture was painted 77 years after George III's golden jubilee and so is a total reconstruction. There is, therefore, no possibility that the figures are actual portraits of the 1810 ringers. Nevertheless, Smallfield had visited the church tower before he started the painting but made certain alterations to the layout for artistic reasons. He also studied the bell ringers at his local church in Willesden, north west London, to get the action and the angle of the ropes correct. A watercolour version of this painting was exhibited at the Watercolour Society in 1878. Frederick Smallfield studied at the Royal Academy and subsequently exhibited there several times. He lived for most of his life in London and at Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire.
LCC-MFB Red Cross Street fire station and engine, London LFB150
Red Cross Street fire station, City of London, built by the London County Council (LCC) and opened in 1900. It was one of four fire stations (plus a river station at Blackfriars) contained within the City of London. The picture shows its horse drawn pumps parading on the forecourt of the station. Date: 1900
© Copyright Mary Evans Picture Library 2015
The Run Home, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)
Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, late 19th century / early 20th century. 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. The model at the helm is Hingston, cox of the lifeboat for many years, the other two are Jackett of Falmouth.