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Tuke studied the tradition of the nude in Italy, but interpreted it with a modern impressionist style and everyday subjects. He moved to Cornwall and helped found the Newlyn School. This is one of many pictures Tuke painted of boys bathing around Falmouth Harbour; an activity that was common at this time. Tuke idealises the scene, however, with the poetic title (from Algernon Swinburne’s poem ‘The Sundew’ 1866), reflecting the beautiful colour that dominates the composition.

February 2016