Art Term

Newlyn school

The term Newlyn school refer to a group of artists who settled in Newlyn and St Ives in the late nineteenth century and whose work is characterised by an impressionistic style and subject matter drawn from scenes of rural life

Frank Bramley, ‘A Hopeless Dawn’ 1888
Frank Bramley
A Hopeless Dawn 1888
Tate
Henry Herbert La Thangue, ‘The Man with the Scythe’ exhibited 1896
Henry Herbert La Thangue
The Man with the Scythe exhibited 1896
Tate

Following the extension of the Great Western Railway to West Cornwall in1877 the Cornish fishing towns of St Ives and Newlyn both began to attract artists, drawn by the beauty of the scenery, quality of light, simplicity of life and drama of the sea.

The artists known as the Newlyn school were led by Stanhope Forbes and Frank Bramley who settled there in the early 1880s. Newlyn painting combined the impressionist derived doctrine of working directly from the subject, and where appropriate in the open air (plein-airism), with subject matter drawn from rural life, particularly the life of the fishermen. Forbes’s The Health of the Bride and Bramley’s A Hopeless Dawn are quintessential Newlyn masterpieces.

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