Newlyn School of Art – A Rush for Refreshment


April 15, 2014BlogNo comments

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There are many examples in the history of painting in which many artists together had decided to break the conventional rules taught in art schools (Academic art, for instance). These artists found the conventional rules to be limiting their urge to paint. They found it hard to keep up with the rules which were pressuring them to learn the customs and in the process remove the natural urge to paint which basically drifted them near to the very art of painting.

In some cases, artists held campaigns for the freedom of depiction in the way they want. While in many other cases, the like-minded artists flew away. They flew away to a secure place, where they weren’t objected on the way they depicted or the novice styles they invented to describe the scenes visually. They built their community and protected themselves and ultimately flourished in their own art. In most cases, people admired these rebellious eventually.

These rebellion were the reason for the different artistic styles and methods which we see today. Those were the first ones who tried to do something new and succeeded.

Breton, The Weeders, 1868

Breton, The Weeders, 1868

Newlyn is a famous example of such artists who painted for their joy. Newlyn school artists enjoyed painting in the natural light. Mainly, a type of landscape painting called as the En plein air. They survived from 1880s to the early 20th century.  Though, they weren’t aggressive like the artists of Barbizon Schools. They didn’t need to.

Newlyn is a small village in Cornwall. Most villagers were fishermen. People were hardworking and doing laborious works with low income.

For the contemporary artists, it was the perfect location to depict in the open air. The location was good for landscape painting, the living was cheap and they were able to get models of their choice for reasonable price. This made  the place a favorite spot for the Newlyn school artists.

Hermitte Payment of the  Hay Gatherers

Hermitte Payment of the Hay Gatherers

Though, the clear reasons are unknown for the art-colony’s demise. But, in the early 20th century, new art movements like cubism, surrealism, avant-garde and other got a tight grip on the contemporary artists, which made the new artists drift away towards those new, popular art forms.

In 21st century, the art colony has been refounded in 2011 with a little bit of change in the name, Newlyn School of Art. Some of the famous painters from the Newlyn Art School are Lamorna Birch, Henry Scott Tuke, Dod Proctor, etc.

Such rush for refreshment brings novice concept and novelty to the art and artists with new urge to paint should be allowed to depict in their own ways, most of the times.

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