Sotheby's Victorian & Edwardian art sale stars '$320,500' Tuke paintings

Sotheby's Victorian & Edwardian art sale on Tuesday, 15 November will include a collection of six works by Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) which come to the market from a Private Collection.

With a combined pre-estimate low estimate of just over £200,000 ($320,518), the group comprises oils, a sculpture and a watercolour. 

Although Tuke was born in Yorkshire, the family moved to Falmouth during his early childhood, where his connection with Cornwall began. He studied in London at the Slade School under Sir Edward John Poynter and then travelled to Paris and Italy where he had his first taste of en plein air painting.

The concept of painting outside direct from the subject and of using ordinary models was a new and exciting one, which he embraced with his young artistic contemporaries who had settled in Newlyn in the early 1880s.

Led by Stanhope Forbes, they initiated a new approach to painting, depicting the local fishing villages and people and employing a square brush technique, muted colours and rendering the cool, Cornish light in a manner that became the hallmark of the Newlyn School.

Henry Scott Tuke return from fishing
Henry Scott Tuke's Return from Fishing from 1907, estimated at £150,000

In 1885, Tuke moved from Newlyn to Falmouth to pursue in particular his own ideas for the nude figure in the open air for which he is best known. In Cornwall, the sun, the sea and the local area provided him with endless stimuli, expressed in his paintings which capture the golden days of 'Edwardian Summer' before the outbreak of the First World War. 

Return from Fishing, painted in 1907 and estimated at £100,000-150,000, depicts a glorious summer day, with light shimmering off the ocean where the fleet of herring boats are moored offshore and the younger members of the community are idling on the beach and rowing in the calm waters.

A young man walks by laden with furled sails after an early morning spent fishing at sea; his catch is laid out on the beach. The model for this figure is Tuke's favourite, Charlie Mitchell. Mitchell posed for almost all of Tuke's important canvases of this period.

Further highlights include: 
* The Bather Painted 1924. Oil on canvas Estimate: £40,000-60,000 
* The Cavern Oil on canvas, Estimate: £8,000-12,000 
* The Watcher Bronze, Executed in 1916 in an edition of five Estimate: £25,000-35,000 
* Nude on the Rocks Painted 1927 Oil on panel Estimate: £25,000-35,000 
* Boy Against Rock Watercolour Estimate: £4,000-6,000. 

Watch this space for more news on Sotheby's sale.

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