Portrait of Henry Scott Tuke

Henry Scott Tuke Painting Reproductions Gallery 1 of 4

1858-1929

British Newlyn School Painter

Henry Scott Tuke, (12 June 1858 - 13 March 1929), a British painter and photographer, is best remembered for his paintings of naked boys and young men.

Tuke was born in York into a prominent family of Friends (Quakers). His father Daniel Hack Tuke was a prominent campaigner for humane treatment of the insane. His great-great-grandfather William Tuke had founded the Retreat at York, one of the first modern insane asylums, in 1792 . His great-grandfather Henry Tuke, grandfather Samuel Tuke and uncle James Hack Tuke were also well-known social activists.

In 1874 Tuke moved with his family to London, where he enrolled in the Slade School of Art. After graduating he traveled to Italy in 1880 , and from 1881 to 1883 he lived in Paris, where he studied with the French history painter Paul Laurens and met the American painter John Singer Sargent (who was also a painter of male nudes, although this fact was little known in his lifetime).

During the 1880s Tuke also met Oscar Wilde and other prominent poets and writers, most of them homosexuals (then usually called Uranian) who celebrated the adolescent male. He wrote a "sonnet to youth" which was published anonymously in The Artist, and also contributed an essay to The Studio.

Tuke returned to Britain and moved to Newlyn, Cornwall joining a small colony of artists. These included Walter Langley, Albert Chevallier Tayler and Thomas Cooper Gotch a lifelong painter of the girl-child, who became a lifelong friend. These painters and others are known to art historians as the Newlyn School.

In 1885 Tuke settled in Falmouth, a fishing port in Cornwall, then still a remote and romantically rustic part of the country, with a very mild climate which is more agreeable for nude open air activities than in most other British regions. He bought a fishing boat for 40 pounds and converted it into a floating studio and living quarters. Here could indulge his passion for painting boys in privacy. Most of his works depict boys and young men who swim, dive and lounge, usually naked, on a boat or on the beach.

Tuke also produced more saleable works on narrative or historical themes. In these paintings Tuke placed his male nudes in safely mythological contexts, but critics have usually found these works to be rather formal, lifeless and flaccid.

From the 1890s, Tuke abandoned mythological themes and began to paint local boys fishing, sailing, swimming and diving, and also began to paint in a more naturalistic style. His handling of paint became freer, and he began using bold, fresh color. One of his best known paintings from this period is August Blue (1893-1894), a study of four nude youths bathing from a boat.

Although Tuke's paintings of nude youths undoubtedly appealed to those gay men who found adolescents attractive, they are never explicitly sexual. The models' genitals are almost never shown, they are almost never in physical contact with each other, and there is never any suggestion of overt sexuality.

Tuke formed close friendships with many of his models, but it has never been established that he was sexually involved with any of them, on either a romantic or commercial basis. Although it is possible that he was sexually active with local youths, it is equally possible that, like many gay men in this period, he sublimated his sexuality into romantic friendships, and into his art.

Because of his subject matter, Tuke was unable to sell many of his works, except to a select circle of homosexual art collectors. But he was also well known as a portraitist, and maintained a London studio to work on his commissions. Among his best known portraits is that of soldier and writer T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia").

Technically, Tuke favored rough, visible brushstrokes, at a time when a smooth, polished finish was favoured by fashionable painters and critics. He had a strong sense of colour and excelled in the depiction of natural light, particularly the soft, fragile sunlight of the English summer. Had his choice of subject matter been more orthodox, Tuke might have become a major name in British painting: as it was he remained a niche painter.

Nevertheless, Tuke did enjoy a considerable reputation, and he did well enough from his painting to be able to travel abroad, painting in France, Italy and the West Indies. In 1900 a banquet was held in his honour at the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1914 . In later life he was in poor health for many years, and died in Falmouth in 1929.

After his death Tuke's reputation faded, and he was largely forgotten until the 1970s, when he was rediscovered by the first generation of openly gay artists and art collectors. He has since become something of a cult figure in gay cultural circles, with lavish editions of his paintings published and his works fetching high prices at auctions.

82 Tuke Paintings

The Bathers, 1889 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Bathers 1889

Oil Painting
$1042
Canvas Print
$65.79
SKU: THS-6671
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 116.8 x 86.3 cm
City Art Gallery, Leeds, United Kingdom

Going Aloft, c.1886 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Going Aloft c.1886

Oil Painting
$604
Canvas Print
$47.84
SKU: THS-6672
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 23 x 13 cm
Private Collection

A Sailor's Yarn, 1887 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

A Sailor's Yarn 1887

Oil Painting
$951
Canvas Print
$64.18
SKU: THS-6673
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 87.6 x 63.5 cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Comrades, 1924 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Comrades 1924

Oil Painting
$1042
Canvas Print
$48.24
SKU: THS-6674
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 81.9 x 121.9 cm
Private Collection

Boys Bathing, 1908 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Boys Bathing 1908

Oil Painting
$893
Canvas Print
$66.82
SKU: THS-6675
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 61 x 45.7 cm
Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom

The Sunbathers, undated by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Sunbathers undated

Oil Painting
$939
Canvas Print
$83.59
SKU: THS-6676
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 54.5 x 64 cm
Private Collection

Boys Bathing, 1912 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Boys Bathing 1912

Oil Painting
$718
Canvas Print
$47.84
SKU: THS-6677
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 63.5 x 38.5 cm
Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall, United Kingdom

The Critics, 1927 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Critics 1927

Oil Painting
$850
Canvas Print
$50.75
SKU: THS-6678
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 41.2 x 51.4 cm
Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, Warwickshire, United Kingdom

W. G. Grace, 1905 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

W. G. Grace 1905

Paper Print
$45.56
SKU: THS-6679
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: unknown
Private Collection

The Fisherman, 1889 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Fisherman 1889

Oil Painting
$1017
Canvas Print
$50.00
SKU: THS-6680
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 198.1 x 116.8 cm
Nottingham City Museums Galleries, Nottingham, United Kingdom

August Blue, 1915 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

August Blue 1915

Paper Print
$45.56
SKU: THS-6681
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 16.5 x 24 cm
Private Collection

A Hot Summer Day, 1885 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

A Hot Summer Day 1885

Oil Painting
$951
Canvas Print
$51.90
SKU: THS-6682
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 55.2 x 94.6 cm
Private Collection

Girl on the Beach, undated by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Girl on the Beach undated

Paper Print
$45.56
SKU: THS-6683
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 25 x 35 cm
Private Collection

Genoa, 1912 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Genoa 1912

Paper Print
$45.56
SKU: THS-6684
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 28.2 x 39.5 cm
Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Three Companions, 1906 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Three Companions 1906

Oil Painting
$1014
Canvas Print
$49.17
SKU: THS-6685
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 62.8 x 92.8 cm
Private Collection

Ruby, Gold and Malachite, 1902 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Ruby, Gold and Malachite 1902

Oil Painting
$1141
Canvas Print
$47.84
SKU: THS-6686
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: unknown
Guildhall Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Cupid and the Sea Nymphs, 1899 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Cupid and the Sea Nymphs 1899

Oil Painting
$989
Canvas Print
$49.30
SKU: THS-6687
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 57.5 x 83.5 cm
Private Collection

The Lemon Tree, 1893 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Lemon Tree 1893

Oil Painting
$1026
Canvas Print
$55.10
SKU: THS-12888
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 104 x 136 cm
Art Galleries and Museums, Bradford, United Kingdom

Morning Splendour, 1922 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Morning Splendour 1922

Oil Painting
$1130
Canvas Print
$54.30
SKU: THS-12889
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 112 x 151 cm
Private Collection

Henry Allen in Cricketing Whites, undated by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Henry Allen in Cricketing Whites undated

Oil Painting
$740
Canvas Print
$47.84
SKU: THS-12890
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: unknown
Private Collection

To the Morning Sun, 1903 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

To the Morning Sun 1903

Oil Painting
$1063
Canvas Print
$54.30
SKU: THS-12891
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 101.6 x 78.7 cm
National Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

Nude Study, undated by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Nude Study undated

Oil Painting
$674
Canvas Print
$47.84
SKU: THS-12892
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 29.2 x 20 cm
Public Collection

Two Children on Deck, undated by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Two Children on Deck undated

Oil Painting
$706
Canvas Print
$47.84
SKU: THS-12893
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 35.5 x 26.5 cm
Public Collection

The Run Home, 1902 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Run Home 1902

Oil Painting
$1147
Canvas Print
$52.73
SKU: THS-12894
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 119 x 162 cm
The Royal Cornwall Museum, Cornwall, United Kingdom

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