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Hemy settled in Falmouth, Cornwall, in 1881, aiming to paint the sea and ships ‘always from nature’. Fishing by a long ‘seine’ net was a method thought to date from the time of Christ’s disciples. It involves paying out the seine net all round the shoal of pilchards, tying the ends, then dropping a smaller tuck net into the shoal and scooping up the fish in baskets. Hemy made studies of the process over fourteen years, but painted the picture in ten days.

May 2007