This work, besides being one of the best known and loved works by Henry Meynell Rheam, is also an outstanding example of his early style.

While the majority of Rheam’s later paintings exhibit romantic, late Pre-Raphaelite leanings, and tend to describe classical Romantic subjects, this work, produced shortly after the artist’s arrival in Newlyn and influenced by his concomitant immersion in the village’s artistic community, is strikingly grounded. The painting adheres to the rural realist style favoured by the Newlyn School, depicting a known local model, Effie James, against a background rich in sociological detail; the nets, floats and fishing boats central to local industry are all painstakingly captured and made to work in combination with the decorative beauty that characterises Rheam’s later imagined romantic subjects.

Provenance

Private collection (during artist's lifetime); private collection, 1978. The Museum has commissioned an Art Loss Register search.


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