Tin Miners, a fine example of Harold Harvey's works depicting the industrial side of Cornwall, sold for £40,850 yesterday (Wednesday 25th January 2012) in the 19th Century Paintings sale at Bonhams,101 New Bond Street, London. This far exceeded its pre-sale estimate of £20,000-30,000.

Peter Rees, Head of Sale for the 19th Century Paintings Department, comments, "We are delighted with the result; Harvey was a prolific artist but this was a very impressive work, giving an interesting insight into the social history of West Cornwall."

Harold Harvey (1874-1941) was born in Penzance and trained in painting at the Penzance Art School under Norman Garstin, before attending the Academie Julian in Paris (1894-1896). His works often depicted Cornish life and landscapes from his local community such as fishermen, farmers or simply families in their home interiors. As his style developed he chose simpler compositions and a brighter palette. The resulting works proved popular with the public and drew him critical acclaim, and he was selected to take part in the Venice Biennale of 1924.

He first visited the theme of the industrial landscape of Cornwall in 1935 with St. Just Tin Miners, now in the collection of the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro. Kenneth McConkey has identified the sitters in that work as 'authentic local characters' Sidney Angrove and Nicholas Grenfell and it is believed that he used the same sitters in Tin Miners. The large and imposing oil painting (101.5 x 76cm) on offer at Bonhams was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1939.

A second work by Harold Harvey in the sale, Portrait of Stella Mary Burdett, sold for £8,750 and the sale total was £1,871,925.


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