Charles Walter Simpson

British, b.1885, d.1971

On The Beach

  • Presented by the family of James Jamieson 1932
  • Oil on prepared board
  • 695 x 890mm
  • 69/371
  • 1918
  • View on google maps

Charles Simpson and his wife Ruth (the likely sitter for On the Beach) became key figures in the growing artist community in Cornwall in the early years of the twentieth century. Surrey-born Simpson’s early training included study in 1904 under well-known horse painter Lucy Kemp-Welch at The Herkomer School at Bushey, near London. Attracted to Cornwall from his earliest visit in 1905, he became part of the thriving artist colony at Newlyn. Following many in his set, he also took further studies in Paris in 1910 at the Académie Julian. Charles Simpson married Ruth Alison in 1913 and their daughter was born the following year. Relocating within Cornwall from Newlyn to Lamorna, then St Ives, they established and ran their own St Ives School of Painting from 1920–4, before moving to London. This work belongs to an early series that used family members and friends as models, combining Simpson’s interest at portraiture with en plein air observation of Cornish light.

(The Weight of Sunlight, 16 September 2017 - 16 September 2018

Art historian David Tovey proposes that the scene is Porthkidney Sands, near St. Ives.