Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Harold Harvey painting of tin miners in Cornwall for auction at Bonhams

‘Tin Miners’, a fine example of Harold Harvey’s works depicting the industrial side of Cornwall, is to be offered for auction in the 19th Century Paintings sale on Wednesday 25th January 2012, at Bonhams New Bond Street, London. It has a pre-sale estimate of £20,000-30,000.

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.

Peter Rees, Head of Sale for Bonhams 19th Century Paintings Department, comments, “Harvey is an artist whose work straddles several generations of Newlyn School artists, and his best work remains extremely popular at auction. This unusual example provides an interesting insight into the social history of West Cornwall.”

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