Henry Scott TUKE

Henry Scott TUKE

Born on 12 June 1858, York (GRO). Soon after his birth, due to ill health, the family made a move to Falmouth. After attending a Quaker school at Weston Super Mare, where his friendship with Arthur TANNER began, Tuke studied at the Slade with Edward J POYNTER (1875).

Meantime, in 1867 at the age of 9, he began to show art work at the RCPS at Falmouth, and continued to do so until 1904 (in 1899 he became its Vice-President). Tuke was awarded a three-year Slade scholarship by Alphonse Legros (1877), and his life-long friendship with Thomas Cooper GOTCH developed from there. He worked in Florence (1880) and in Paris 1881-3, under J P Laurens, where Gotch also joined him.

On his return to England, he settled back in Cornwall: first at Newlyn, already a centre for French-style plein-air painting where he also made a great friend of William Ayerst INGRAM, and later in Falmouth, where he purchased a boat and his sea-studio came into being. In that same year (1886) he was one of the artists helping to found the New English Art Club.  Most of his work reflected his love of sailing ships, knowledge of the sea and sunlight. He also painted male nudes, usually boys posed on sunlit beaches.

His painting All Hands to the Pumps! was purchased by the Chantrey Bequest (1889), as was August Blue (1894). Ingram, Gotch and Tuke together formed the 'Society of Country Painters' in 1907. In 1910 at NAG he sold Bathing. The highly regarded Henry Scott Tuke, always a stalwart of the artists' communities, died on 13 March 1929, age 70, at Falmouth. The longtime interest and devotion of Brian D Price and John F Tonkin, RCPS, Falmouth, in curating, transcribing diaries, and collating the Tuke Collection is acknowledged with admiration and thanks.


Genre and portrait painter

works and access

Likenesses of the artist: Portrait of Henry Scott Tuke by his sister Maria (Tuke) Sainsbury; photo likeness in Hardie 2009 with AC Tayler

Works include: Shipping at Anchor in a Squall, Falmouth; Three Masted Ships at Anchor; All Hands to the Pumps! (1889); August Blue (1894); Sunset Effect (sketch1896); Waiting for a Breeze (sketch 1897); Looking West; St Ives (1899); French Barque in Falmouth Bay (1902); Bathing (1910)

Access to Work: Falmouth Art Gallery (4); Penlee House, Penzance; RWS;  Trehayes Collection (Cornwall); RCM, Truro (12 shown in PCF pp216-17); Guildhall, London; MCC, London;  Leamington; Leeds; Bradford; Nottingham; Swansea; Tate; Cape Town; Sydney

Locally: The Tuke Collection is comprised of a single collection of 277 works, of which 87 are in oil. These are the property of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, Falmouth. The Trustees make the works available for exhibition at local, national and international events and venues.



Dowdeswell (4); Notts Castle (4); Whitechapel (4); SS; NWS; GG; NG; NEAC; RA from 1879, 1886, May 1920; St Ives August 1889; NAG 1896, November 1897, December 1924; St Ives 1899; NAG 1896, 1897, 1910, 1924


1992: RWE Artists from Cornwall, Bristol

2012: 'Effortless Brushstrokes', Falmouth Art Gallery 11 Feb - 14 Apr


NEAC; RCPS (Vice President 1899); ARA 1900; RA 1914; ARWS 1904; RWS 1911

misc further info



Personal: Maria Tuke Sainsbury (1934) Henry Scott Tuke; J Tonkin & B Stewart (2005) Falmouth Tukes; Wainwright and Dinn (1989) Henry Scott Tuke Under Canvas; C Wallace Catching the Light, The Art & Life (HST)

Cornishman 1 Aug 1889 [from WMN]

St Ives Times 14 May 1920

Art Journal 1907 p 358ff


Green Artists at Home

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p287) incl lg bibliography & col pl: The Message

Magazine of Art 1902 pp 337-43

Mallet's Index

Newton  et al Painting at the Edge

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership;


The Studio Special Number 1919 'British Marine Paintings'

Who's Who in Art

C Wood Victorian Painters;


RWE (1992) Artists from Cornwall, Bristol