Henry Scott TUKE (York 1858 - Falmouth 1929)

Study of Sea, Sky and Clouds Sold

Signed H.S.T. at the lower right.
139 x 214 mm. (5 1/2 x 8 3/8 in.)


Henry Scott Tuke worked in watercolour throughout his career, and his skill in the medium was recognized by many of his peers. In 1904 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society (alongside John Singer Sargent, whose work as a watercolourist he much admired) and became a full member seven years later; in all Tuke exhibited a total of 220 watercolours at the Society between 1904 and 1927. As a recent scholar has noted, ‘It was in the medium of watercolour that Tuke showed his real spontaneity and natural impressionism...Like Sargent, Tuke was mainly interested in using watercolour to capture light, in particular light on water. His trip to the Mediterranean in 1892 and to Venice in 1899 produced watercolours that capture the rich colours and brilliant light he saw there. Also they were predominantly executed in a bold, impressionist style.’

Most of Tuke’s watercolours – for the most part drawn in small sketchbooks - are individual studies of boats and sailing ships, or port scenes and seascapes with shipping. Pure seascapes like the present sheet are relatively rare in his oeuvre, however. Among a handful of similarly atmospheric watercolours by the artist is a seascape study, of identical dimensions to the present sheet and possibly from the same sketchbook, which was sold at auction in London in 2014, as well as a slightly larger view of the coast of North Berwick in Scotland, datable to c.1891, in the collection of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society in Falmouth. Also stylistically comparable is a watercolour view of a sunrise with shipping, signed and dated 1916, that appeared at auction in 2000.

Henry Scott TUKE

Study of Sea, Sky and Clouds


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