Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history

Mending Father's Nets

Oil on canvas. The George Bednar Donation.

Frank Bodilly

1860 - 1926

Although his association with the Newlyn School was relatively short-lived, Bodilly was unique amongst the first generation of Newlyn artists in that he was a Cornishman.

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Biography

Frank Bodilly - 1860 - 1926

Bodilly was unique amongst the first generation of Newlyn artists in that he was a local boy: he was born in Penzance on 5 December 1860. He was a witness at the marriage of Thomas and Caroline Gotch in 1881, and three years later he married Caroline’s sister, Esther, with whom he had one son.

Bodilly joined the Newlyn painters, staying at Mrs Maddern’s (Belle Vue), but after only about two years, he left to study law. He was called to the Bar at Middle Temple on 8 July, 1889. This precipitated his leaving Cornwall in 1889 to join the Civil Service in India, before becoming a Judge in Calcutta in the Colonial Service. On retirement he returned to Penzance, living with his family at Alverton Cottage. He died near Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

Although his artistic career was brief, he did exhibit two works at the Royal Academy (1885-6) and also exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists. His painting subjects were mainly genre and landscapes.

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