The Newlyn School was an art colony of artists based in or near Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early twentieth century. The establishment of the Newlyn School was reminiscent of the Barbizon School in France, where artists fled Paris to paint in a more pure setting emphasizing natural light. These schools along with a related California movement were also known as En plein air.
Newlyn had a number of things guaranteed to attract artists: fantastic light, cheap living, and the availability of inexpensive models. The artists were fascinated by the fishermen's working life at sea and the everyday life in the harbour and nearby villages. Some paintings showed the hazards and tragedy of the community's life, such as women anxiously looking out to sea as the boats go out, or a young woman crying on hearing news of a disaster. Lamorna Birch was the prime mover behind the colony and the work done there. The later Forbes School of Painting, founded by Stanhope Forbes and his wife Elizabeth in 1899, promoted the study of figure painting. A present-day Newlyn School of Art was formed in 2011 with Arts Council funding providing art courses taught by many of the best-known artists working in Cornwall today.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Lamorna, a nearby fishing village to the south, became popular with artists of the Newlyn School and is particularly associated with the artist S. J. "Lamorna" Birch who lived there from 1908.
Newlyn School painters include:
For a full list see: George Bednar. Every Corner was a Picture: A checklist compiled for the West Cornwall Art Archive of 50 artists from the early Newlyn School painters through to the present. ISBN 1-872229-36-0
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