Sarah Ann Stevenson sat for Tuke's first major Newlyn work, Ship Builders. This painting is a much bigger and more detailed portrait of the sitter that may have been a preparatory study or portrait in its own right.
Penlee House Gallery & Museum, 'Brotherhood of the Palette', 20 June - 12 Sept 2009.
A portrait of Sarah Ann Stevenson, one of Tuke’s early Newlyn models. As well as being an accomplished portrait, this work shows the sitter as pictured in Tuke’s inaugural Newlyn work, Ship Builders,exhibited in the newly formed Nineteenth Century Society. The portrait pictures Sarah in 1883 in the Trewarveneth Street tackle cellar of Newlyn fisherman Philip Harvey, her face lit by a single light source, the natural light from a window; a popular visual tactic of Newlyn school painters.
Sarah Ann Stevenson featured again in Tuke’s ‘In the Orchard’ in 1885, set in Walter Langley’s orchard in Newlyn. That same year Tuke moved to Falmouth, drawn by his love of boats and the opportunities for sailing. He spent the next 45 years based at Pennance Cottage at Maenporth, Falmouth painting in the harbour and nearby secluded beaches. So, although Tuke is correctly cited as a founding member of the Newlyn school, his presence there was short lived, and his Newlyn works are rare. The portrait of Sarah Ann Stevenson is presented in its original frame.