Alfred Wallis

String of Boats


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Not on display

Alfred Wallis 1855–1942
Oil paint on board
Support: 117 × 403 mm
Frame: 197 × 487 × 30mm
Bequeathed by Mrs Doris Sealy 1975

Display caption

Alfred Wallis was a seaman, ice cream seller and rag-and-bone man before he took up painting in old age. He said he painted ‘what used to be’ and many of his works depict a remembered past.In 1928 he met professional artists Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood, for whom Wallis’s work represented an instinctive and naïve folk art. As such, Wallis seemed to belong to the tradition of rustic characters common in literature, and represented a link to an apparently timeless English culture.

Gallery label, July 2007

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Catalogue entry

T01968 STRING OF BOATS c.1928

Not inscribed
Ship's oilpaint on cardboard, 4 5/8×15 7/8 (11.8×40.3)
Bequeathed by Mrs Doris Sealy 1975

The boats are mackerel drivers (see also T01969), typical Cornish fishing luggers, which Wallis would have seen in quantity in the 1890's. The boats are evidently entering St. Ives harbour.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1974-6: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1978

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