From the 19th century onwards, artists were drawn to the Cornish coast, capturing on paper and canvas the romance and rawness of rocks and waves. After JMW Turner’s paintings and engravings from his visits in 1811 became widely known, leading British marine artists painted in Cornwall, producing iconic images of places such as Land’s End, St Michael’s Mount, Kynance Cove, Gurnards Head and Tintagel. From the 1880s, artists settled in Newlyn, St Ives and Falmouth and depicted the lives of the local fishing communities. The marine tradition was continued in St Ives by Julius Olsson and later, his students, such as Borlase Smart and John Park. However, it was the naive marine paintings on bits of rough cardboard by rag-and-bone man, Alfred Wallis, which were to inspire a whole generation of British modernists.
Immerse yourself in Penlee’s summer show and discover why the Cornish coast was held in such fascination by some of Britain’s finest artists. Curated with the assistance of David Tovey. DOWNLOAD THE EXHIBITION HANDLIST HERE
Penlee House is a beautiful art gallery and museum, set within sub-tropical gardens, with a great café.Discover More
Our vibrant exhibition programme celebrates the nationally important art and history of West Cornwall.Discover More
From school visits to family activities, talks and walks, there are plenty of learning opportunities at Penlee House.Discover More
Enjoy a delicious lunch or coffee at the Orangery Café, and support us by purchasing unique gifts in our shop.Discover More