'Vital' Art Fund grant helps save painting for Cornish museum

  • 20 July 2006

The Art Fund has given a £40,000 grant to help Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance, acquire a major painting by leading Newlyn School artist Stanhope Forbes.

The Museum described The Art Fund's contribution, pledged in the initial fundraising stages, as 'vital'. This was followed by a major grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, only hours before the painting was due to be sold at auction.

On Paul Hill is an outstanding example of Forbes’ work. Painted in 1922, the fresh, lively landscape shows a view from Newlyn, looking over breezy Penzance, which is still recognisable today. The painting was exhibited in 2003 and it proved extremely popular with visitors, who in some cases were able to identify relatives among the children depicted.

As well as being a pre-eminent late work by Forbes, On Paul Hill is also a superb example of 1920s painting in Britain, epitomising the artist’s concern with depicting a return to normality after the First World War, and celebrating the conservative values of rural village life.

Forbes arrived in Newlyn in 1884 and soon became a leading figure in the growing resident colony of artists, now viewed as one of Britain’s most important art movements, the ‘Newlyn School’. Penlee House specialises in showing Newlyn School paintings, but this is the first prime example of a landscape painting by Forbes to have been acquired by the museum.

The Art Fund recently gave a £15,000 grant to Penlee House Gallery & Museum to help it acquire In The Whiting Ground, by Harold C Harvey.

On Paul Hill is now on display at Penlee House.

Related links:

Penlee House Gallery & Museum