kjesta (kjesta) wrote in fortyfoot,

It's time for some art.

I was browsing through my art history folder and rediscovered one of my favourite paintings - and that I still didn't know the artist. Seeing that it's absolutely perfect for ASTB, I did some research and dug up some more pictures by the same artist: Henry Scott Tuke, an English Impressionist painter. Reading his biography, I was really amazed how well he fits with ASTB!

For starters, this is the picture that put me on his track:

Noonday Heat, 1911

Do I need to say anything?

So, before we move on to more pretty pitcures, I'd like to mention that he was born in 1858 in York and died 1929 in Falmouth. His mentors were primarily Jean-Paul Laurens and John Singer Sargent. (Sargent was rumoured to be homosexual; fellow painter and one of his early models Jacque-Émile Blanche claimed after Sargent's death that his sex life "was notorious in Paris, and in Venice, positively scandalous. He was a frenzied bugger." The truth of this statement is still not clear.) He was acquainted with many other artists and poets of the time that celebrated the beauty of the male youth, many of them Uranian or homosexual, among them none other than Oscar Wilde himself. Tuke himself wrote a poem that he published anonymously in The Artist:

Sonnet to Youth

Youth standing sweet, triumphant by the sea,
All freshness of the day
And all the light
Of morn of thy white limbs, firm, bared and bright.

The models in his paintings used to be boys he brought from London at first, but eventually he befriended local youths that would often model for him. They are known by name: Edward John "Johnny" Jackett (1878–1935), Charlie Mitchell (who looked after Tuke's boats), Willie Sainsbury (Tuke's eldest nephew), Leo Marshall, Georgie and Richard Fouracre, George Williams (younger son of close neighbours), Maurice Clift (nephew of a family friend), Ainsley Marks, Jack Rowling, Freddy Hall, Bert White and Harry Cleave. All of his regular models were sent to fight in WWI and some, including Maurice Clift who died in France, never returned. 

Besides nude boys, Tuke's main subject was the depiction of the sea. He was himself a great enthusiast of nude bathing which he continued to do into old age.

And now for some more pictures, just let the beauty work on you. I love being an art nerd. I've added the name and date of creation where I could.

The three companions, 1905

Two boys on a beach (A study in bright sunlight), 1909

A bathing group, 1913

July Sun, 1913

Two boys and a dog, ca. 1914

Under the western sun, 1917

Nude on the rocks, ca. 1917

Youth on beach, 1920

Boys bathing on rocks, 1921

Aquamarine, 1928-29

Figure study for Aquamarine, 1928

Charlie Mitchell

The youth in white trousers

Boys bathing, 1908

After the bathe

Portrait of T. E. Lawrence, 192?

The Sunbathers

Hope you enjoyed this little excourse into art history, I certainly did.
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