Henry Tuke, R.A. 1858 - 1929
A Bathing Group
Photo: R.A./John Hammond
© Royal Academy of Arts, London
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A Bathing Group, 1914
Oil on canvas, 902 X 597 mm
Diploma Work given by Henry Tuke, R.A., accepted 1914
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Tuke was a landscape and figure painter who entered the Slade School of Art in 1875 and travelled to Italy in 1880-81. It was there that he met Arthur Lemon and spent a month painting the male nude outdoors, a subject which absorbed him for the rest of his life. He moved to Newlyn in 1883, with other artists such as Stanhope Forbes, who shared his interest in painting in the open air. In 1885 he moved back to Falmouth and settled there permanently.

Although Tuke often used local boys to pose for him, the main figure in A Bathing Group is Nicola Lucciani, a professional Italian model. At this period Tuke’s style had become broader so that the scene is painted with great expressiveness and beautifully captures the light reflected off the sea onto the figures. Sadly this idyllic scene was subsequently tinged with sadness as Lucciani was killed fighting in the First World War.

Frames associated with this work