Sunday, 29 May 2011

Henry Scott Tuke

Born 12 June 1858 in York, died 13 March 1929 in Falmouth, Cornwall.

His family moved to Falmouth in Cornwall in 1859, where his father practiced medicine. (His father specialised in psychiatry and campaigned for the humane treatment of the insane. His family were social activists.

Harry spent long summer days swimming and on the beach. He engaged in nude sea bathing throughout his life.

Tuke drew and painted from an early age, and trained at the Slade school and in Italy and Paris. He settled in Cornwall.

The Bathers 1888

Three Companions

August Blue 1893

Boys Bathing 1907

Boys Bathing 1908

Boys Bathing 1912

Ruby Gold and Malachite 1902

The Bather 1924

More about Tuke in Wikipedia.

I first "met" Tuke in the opening passage of Charles Sprawson's book Haunts of the Black Masseur:

" I learnt to swim in India, in a pool donated to the school by the Edwardian cricketer Ranjitsinhji. I was the only English boy in the school. My father was the headmaster, and Sir K.S Ranjitsinghji, the Jam Saheb of Nawanagar, its most eminent old-boy, though he was only one prince among many there. Sometimes his successor allowed us to bathe in the flooded subterranean vaults of his palace nearby, among columns that disappeared mysteriously into black water. On the walls of the palace above there still hung Tuke's paintings of bathing boys that the Jam Saheb had collected during his cricketing years in England." (Sprawson  p1-2)

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