Evocative Langley watercolour returned to Newlyn

Time Moveth Not, Our Being 'Tis That Moves, an 1882 painting by the Newlyn School artist Walter Langley, has been acquired by Penlee House Gallery & Museum with Art Fund support.

It was painted in Newlyn shortly after Langley moved there from Birmingham to pursue a career as an artist. The painting had hung in a private collection in America for decades, but will now go on public display in the area in which it was originally painted.

While Langley was an accomplished oil painter he painted predominantly in watercolours, portraying scenes of everyday life in Newlyn and highlighting the hardships that were common during his lifetime. Time Moveth Not is a portrait of a local woman, believed to be Grace Kelynack. Rendered with skill and sensitivity, the work evidences the powers of observation that led to Langley's election to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour.

The picture was purchased from the estate of Roland and Beryln Middleton, a couple from Kinver in the West Hidlands, who acquired the picture at auction in the early 1950s. Until the mid-1990s it was thought to be lost, until the Middletons chanced upon Penlee House and revealed its whereabouts.

Penlee Director Louise Connell said, 'This picture has struck a chord with our visitors who have donated an unprecedented amount of money over the past few months. The Friends of Penlee House, the Art Fund and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund have also been extremely generous.'

It was bought for the Penlee House collection thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Friends of Penlee House, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund. Penlee House is home to a nationally significant collection of paintings by artists from the Newlyn School, a colony of artists who settled in the fishing villages from the 1880s onwards, attracted by the quality of light and local community.

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