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The Ringers of Launcells Tower, Frederick Smallfield (1829-1915)

The Ringers of Launcells Tower, Frederick Smallfield (1829-1915)



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Royal Cornwall Museum

Royal Cornwall Museum Photo Prints and Wall Art

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 IIIs 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

Royal Cornwall Museum is the UK's Greatest Museum For Cornish Life & Culture

TRURI : 1905.27

Media ID 18082313

© RIC

Church Cornwall Painting Rope Waistcoat Bells Breeches Buckles Ringer Ringing


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> Animals > Mammals > Cricetidae > Golden Mouse

> Architecture > Towers > Churches

> Arts > Artists > C > Frederick Church

> Arts > Artists > R > George Ropes

> Arts > Contemporary art > Portraits > Still life artwork

> Arts > Still life artwork > Still life art > Still life paintings

> Arts > Still life artwork > Still life art > Portrait painting

> Arts > Still life artwork > Still life art

> Arts > Still life artwork > Oil paintings

> Arts > Still life artwork


The Ringers of Launcells Tower

EDITORS COMMENTS
is a captivating oil painting by Frederick Smallfield, inspired by the enchanting poem "The Ringers of Launcells Tower" written by Rev. R. S. Hawker of Morwenstow. This masterpiece, created in 1887, depicts a scene from the past where bell ringers celebrate King George III's golden jubilee in 1810. Although painted nearly eight decades after this historic event, Smallfield meticulously reconstructed the moment with great attention to detail. Visiting the church tower beforehand allowed him to make artistic alterations while maintaining authenticity. To ensure accuracy in portraying the action and angle of ropes, he observed local bell ringers at his nearby church in Willesden. Smallfield's skillful brushwork brings life to each figure within the composition as they joyfully pull on their ropes amidst an atmosphere filled with celebration and pride. The English School artist studied at the prestigious Royal Academy and frequently exhibited there throughout his career. A watercolour version of this remarkable piece was showcased at the Watercolour Society exhibition in 1878 before its transformation into an exquisite oil painting that now graces our presence. Although not actual portraits of those who rang for King George III's accession or golden jubilee, "The Ringers of Launcells Tower" captures both historical significance and artistic brilliance through Smallfield's masterful interpretation. Displayed proudly at Royal Cornwall Museum, this artwork invites viewers to immerse themselves in a nostalgic journey back to a time when tradition intertwined with artistry – forever preserving a cherished moment from British history within its vibrant strokes on canvas.

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