A Norwegian windjammer in Falmouth Roads signed 'H.S. Tuke' and indistinctly dated (lower left) watercolour 34.8 x 50cm (13 11/16 x 19 11/16in).
EXHIBITED: Possibly, Royal Watercolour Society Spring 1923 (sold for £18 18s)
The date is very indistinct on this work, but the best indication is that it reads 1923. By comparing this work with many others from this period, this particular watercolour is clearly indicative of Tuke's style of watercolour painting from the 1920s it is subtle and gentle in its colouring and tonal values. It could be one of several watercolours Tuke did that year of shipping in Falmouth harbour in 1923 but based on the very grey over cast sky reflected in the grey water, it suggest a work called 'Grey Day' R1021 which was exhibited at the Royal Watercolour Society in Spring 1923. It was painted in Falmouth harbour and features a wide range of shipping in the harbour from barques to sailing boats. In the foreground, to the left of the picture is the steam tug towing in a Danish barque, the anchor having been pulled up and hanging from its side. The smoke coming from the tug drifts across the rigging and masts of the Danish barque adding a sense of atmosphere and movement to the work. Although the grey sky and sea suggest a monochrome effect, the painting is in fact, full of subtle colours; from the green hull of the boat in the middle distance to the bright blue hull of a small yacht sailing past it. The brightest colour in the painting being the red of the Danish flag on the barque in the foreground.
For more information on Tuke's paintings, see Catherine Wallace, Catching the Light: The Art and Life of Henry Scott Tuke, Edinburgh, 2008.
We are grateful to Catherine Wallace for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.