Sold for £52.10 less 10% to Mess Dowdeswell, 1884. Tuke's Register. "At Newlyn in Phil. Harvey's cellar. Sept-Oct 83. Sarah Ann Stevenson & Jimmy Man Johns sat for it.", Nov 1883.
Watts Gallery, 'Henry Scott Tuke', 7 June - 12 September 2021.
Penlee House Gallery & Museum, 'Brotherhood of the Palette', 20 June - 12 Sept 2009.
Nineteenth Century Art Society Exhibition (inaugural), 1883.
Henry Scott Tuke, Cicely Robinson, Yale University Press, March 2021
Catching the Light. The Art and Life of Henry Scott Tuke. Catherine Wallace, Atelier Books, 2008. Page 32, Photo 25.
Henry Scott Tuke was trained at the Slade School of Art and subsequently in the studio of Jean Paul Laurens Atelier in Paris from 1881 to 1883. In these formative years Tuke was much influenced by John Singer Sargent and Jules Bastien Lepage. He visited the father of the en plein air movement in his studio in 1882 writing, ‘went to Bastion Lepage’s studio, saw many things of surpassing beauty. He was very pleasant and told me I might bring something to show him.’
The following year, in September 1883, Tuke moved to Newlyn following Slade and Paris Atelier friends Fred Millard, Albert Chevallier Tayler and William Wainwright. He lodged in a room in the Trewarveneth Street home of local fisherman Philip Harvey. In Harvey’s tackle cellar Tuke executed his first major Newlyn work in 1883, Ship Builders with young models Sarah Ann Stevenson and Jimmy Man Johns. The painting was shown in the newly formed Nineteenth Century Society and bought by dealer Charles Dowdeswell, representing the start of a long association. As his inaugural Newlyn painting, Ship Builders is a landmark painting for both Tuke and the Newlyn School. It is an early example of the use of a single light source which was to become a signature of the Newlyn School.
In 2021 Ship Builders is part of a major exhibition of Tuke's work at the Watts Gallery.