Penzance Harbour by Bryan Pearce

Now recognised as one of the country's foremost 20th century naïve painters, Pearce was born with Phenylketonuria, which affects the normal development of the brain.


Oil on board
52 x 154 cm
Art Fund grant:
£19,500 ( Total: £45,874)
Acquired in:
David Lay, The Penzance Auction House

He is particularly well known for portraying the local St Ives landscape and still-life compositions. This painting is Pearce’s largest ever work and was exhibited extensively as a key work. One of the special qualities of Pearce’s work is his almost obsessive recording of what he had seen, and this work is no exception: although he simplified views and left out facets of the actual scene, each detail recorded is exactly as seen – he never invented any part of his works – and thus this work provides a fascinating snapshot of the harbour, dockside activities and boats in Penzance as they were in 1963.


Private collection.

Venue details

Penlee House Gallery and Museum Morrab Road, PENZANCE Cornwall TR18 4HE 01736 363 625

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £4.50)

1 Apr – 31 Oct Daily, 10am - 5pm 1 Nov – 31 Mar Daily,​ 10am – 4.30pm

Last admission 30 mins before closing Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan