William Cave DAY

William Cave DAY RBA

A Yorkshireman, the artist studied painting under Benjamin Constant and Jules Lefebvre, and M Chapu for modelling. He also worked under Professor Herkomer at Bushey. He was married to the artist Kathleen Georgina Maclellan DAY.

Working from St Ives in 1890, he exhibited his first RA painting Gossips in St Ives, Cornwall that year. Though he worked chiefly in Yorkshire (Harrogate and Knaresborough) where he spent much of his life, in 1918-19 he returned to West Cornwall to settle at St Ives and Carbis Bay for the final five years of his life, painting across Cornwall up to his death.

A Memorial Exhibition was held at the Municipal Art Gallery, Plymouth soon after he died, and at the March Show Day in St Ives in 1924 he was reviewed for his 'interesting picture of a Fish Sale, a busy group on the slipway near to the Sloop. There is the movement of the market, and from behind the houses the Mariners Church looks down.' Another showed an old farmhouse bathed in subdued autumn sunshine. His best picture was considered to be a small canvas of some naked boys bathing from sunlit rocks, with a sea glorious in its colour.


Domestic, figure and seascape painter

works and access

Works include: A bit of York (1920); Life in the Garden (1920); Blossoms (1920); Fishing boats before Smeatons Pier, St Ives Harbour; A Sunny Morning in St Ives Bay (1920); Sheperdess (1920); Bilton (1923); The Captive; October Sunshine (1924); Rocks of Zennor (1924); Geese of the Farmyard; Cottages at Penberth; St Michael's Mount



RI; RBA (120)

RA (10)

Walker Gallery, Liverpool

City Gallery, Manchester

Lanham's, St Ives February 1920

St Ives Show Day March 1924

Municipal Art Gallery, Plymouth Memorial Exhibition 1924




RBA 1904


St Ives Times 20 Feb 1920, 5 Mar 1920, 16 Apr 1920, 30 Apr 1920, 23 Mar 1923, 4 May 1923, 21 Mar 1924

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p321)

Johnson & Greutzner (under DAY) (1975) Dictionary of British Artists

Tovey (2009) St Ives: Social History (under Cave-Day)

Whybrow (1994) St Ives

Wormleighton (1998) Morning Tide: John Anthony Park and the Painters of Light;

Wood (1995) Victorian Painters (under DAY)