St. Ives Harbor, circa 1923 signed 'E. Fortune' (upper left) oil on canvas 12 1/4 x 16 1/4in
Provenance: Collection of the Artist and thence by descent through the family of the artist Private Collection, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Note: The grandmother of the present owner, was one of Fortune's Scottish aunts. Her name was also Euphemia and it seems likely that the young Effie was named after her. The painting was given to the owner's grandmother by the artist and then passed down through the family. The work can be dated to a period which the artist spent in St. Ives, Cornwall circa 1923.
In a letter written from St. Ives and dated November 20th, 1922, E. Charlton Fortune wrote: "I have just found out that I know more about St. Ives than I thought, I have been doing mostly small stuff, - It is impossible to take large canvases out of doors here, as the light changes so rapidly, but I am doing some of the best stuff I have ever done now, - I didn't like to brag till I was quite sure, but I got one of my small marines that I had in my show in Helgesens, and it was one of my two best ones, - I had it sent to me here and when I put it beside the stuff I am doing now it looked black and heavy and with apparently only two values, light and dark. I think this is the very devil to work over here, it is so full of half tone, but it is frightfully good for you. This is the first time I have been really tranquil about my stuff...It is too amazing the effects of light and movement. First of all, the Harbour, when the tide is in, is generally a sheet of melted silver...all silhouette against a silver background...The colour of it all is too amazing for words. When we first came here, everyone spoke of the grayness of St. Ives. It is like a Claude Monet but never gray..."
We are grateful to Steve Hauk for providing additional information on this lot.