Newlyn School, Oil on Panel, 'Mother and Child on a Shoreline
Circa 1890 Indistinctly Signed FHNN ? 35cm x 27cm
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The Newlyn School is a term used to describe a colony of artists based in or near to Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early 20th century. The establishment of the Newlyn School was echoic of the Barbizon School in France, where artists fled Paris to paint in a more pure setting emphasizing natural light. These schools along with a related California movement were also known as En plein air.
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 with subject matter drawn from rural life, particularly the life of the fishermen
Newlyn had a number of things guaranteed to attract artists: fantastic light, cheap living, and the availability of inexpensive models. Everyday Victorian life in Newlyn and the area around was to become a staple of their work. Lamorna Birch was the prime mover behind the colony and the work done there. The later 'School of Painting', founded by Stanhope Forbes and his wife Elizabeth in 1899, promoted the study of figure painting.
The Newlyn School was part of the larger Arts and Crafts Movement. The Arts and Crafts movement was a reformist movement, at first inspired by the writings of John Ruskin, that was at its height between approximately 1880–1910. The movement influenced British decorative arts, architecture, cabinet making, crafts, and even the "cottage" garden designs of William Robinson or Gertrude Jekyll. Its best-known practitioners were William Morris, Charles Robert Ashbee, T. J. Cobden Sanderson, Walter Crane, Phoebe Anna Traquair, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Christopher Dresser, Edwin Lutyens and artists in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. The Arts and Crafts movement was part of the major English aesthetic movement of the last years of the 19th century.
In the United States, it should be noted, the term Arts and Crafts movement is often used to denote the style of interior design that prevailed between the dominant eras of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, or roughly the period from 1910 to 1925.