Throughout July and August Messum's will showcase works by artists of the Newlyn and St Ives Schools alongside several examples by some of the finest figures of British Impressionism.
After over 40 years, Messum’s is now considered to be almost synonymous with this period, having published groundbreaking surveys of this turning point in British art. In what was a complex progression following the Victorian industrial age, artists alternately strived to reclaim artisanal traditions, and to liberate themselves from the confines of the Academy and their own studios by embracing plein air study.
In so doing, they joined artistic colonies in Brittany and Normandy, where they worked alongside many of the key figures of French Realism, painting in the open air and capturing the immediate realities of the local fishing and farming communities. Upon their return to England, they continued this artistic ethos at Staithes and Cornwall, where they established art colonies and schools devoted to plein air landscape and marine painting.
Progressing from the genre scenes of the late Victorian period to the limpid colourism of the late Edwardian era these works by Percy Robert Craft, Henry Herbert La Thangue, Julius Olsson, Stanhope Alexander Forbes Harold Harvey, Dame Laura Knight, Sir Alfred Munnings and many others, illustrate how the internationally recognised language of Impressionism found a unique voice in British painting.