Henry Scott Tuke, R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1858-1929)
Sleeping Sailor signed 'H.S.Tuke' and dated 1905 (lower right) oil on paper laid on to canvas board 45.7 x 30.5cm (18 x 12in). unframed
'Sleeping Sailor', (Tuke's Registers R582) was painted in the summer of 1905 on board a derelict French barque the Mazatlan, moored in Falmouth harbour where it was for sale. Tuke took the opportunity to use this old sailing ship as a floating studio and did several paintings on board including the important oil 'The Mid-Day Rest (Sailors Yarning)' also painted in 1905 (Tuke's Registers R544, illustrated in Catherine Wallace, Catching the Light: The Art and Life of Henry Scott Tuke, Edinburgh 2008, p.99, no.88). The model for 'Sleeping Sailor' was Harry Cleave and he is shown posing on the mizzen boom. There is an entry in Tuke's diary of 1905 which may refer to this painting - 16 May 1905. "Another brilliant day. Harry on the mizzen boom".
Mazatlan was a three-masted wooden barque built by C.C.A. Dreyer at Harburg, on the opposite bank of the Elbe to Hamburg, in 1878. Registered at 525 tons gross (410 net) and measuring 132 feet in length with a 31 foot beam, she was sold to French owners in 1881 and, by 1905, was owned by G. Gautier who traded her out of Nantes. She was sold on 5th July 1905 for £400 but Tuke still managed to carry on painting on her even after she was sold. Probably renamed, she disappears from record thereafter.
For more information on Tuke's paintings, see - Catherine Wallace, Catching the Light: The Art and Life of Henry Scott Tuke, Edinburgh 2008.
PROVENANCE : Sold directly by Tuke to A.J.Taylor Esq., Morshead House, Richmond for £15 Arthur Taylor was a great friend of the vendor's great uncle and so presumably either gave or sold the picture to him. By decent to the present owner Private Collection, U.K.
EXHIBITED : Falmouth Art Gallery, 1905.
We are grateful to Catherine Wallace for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.