Portrait of Henry Scott Tuke

Henry Scott Tuke - Painting Reproductions Gallery 3 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 Paintings of Tuke

Beach Study, c.1928 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Beach Study c.1928

Oil Painting
$457
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-14135
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 40 x 32 cm
Private Collection

Lovers of the Sun, 1923 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Lovers of the Sun 1923

Oil Painting
$857
Canvas Print
$50.62
SKU: THS-15429
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 123.2 x 91.4 cm
Private Collection

The Sun Bathers, 1927 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Sun Bathers 1927

Oil Painting
$992
Canvas Print
$50.73
SKU: THS-15430
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 91.4 x 122.5 cm
Private Collection

In the Meadow, 1906 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

In the Meadow 1906

Oil Painting
$673
Canvas Print
$47.01
SKU: THS-15431
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 54 x 38.6 cm
Private Collection

Green and Gold, 1920 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Green and Gold 1920

Oil Painting
$709
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-15969
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 28.6 x 43.2 cm
Private Collection

Hoisting the Mainsail, 1890 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Hoisting the Mainsail 1890

Oil Painting
$611
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16188
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 45.5 x 35.6 cm
Private Collection

The Misses Santley, 1880 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Misses Santley 1880

Oil Painting
$980
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16189
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 66 x 97.8 cm
York Art Gallery, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Drinking, c.1881 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Drinking c.1881

Oil Painting
$421
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16190
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 23 x 15.2 cm
Private Collection

Boy in a Sou'wester, c.1882 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Boy in a Sou'wester c.1882

Oil Painting
$418
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16191
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 32 x 25 cm
Private Collection

Dinner Time, 1883 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Dinner Time 1883

Oil Painting
$696
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16192
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 33 x 51 cm
Private Collection

A Morning Gossip, 1885 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

A Morning Gossip 1885

Oil Painting
$653
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16193
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 27 x 34 cm
Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Two Falmouth Fisher Boys, 1885 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Two Falmouth Fisher Boys 1885

Oil Painting
$826
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16194
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 94 x 56 cm
Private Collection

Taking a Spell, 1887 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Taking a Spell 1887

Oil Painting
$724
SKU: THS-16195
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 31.7 x 50.7 cm
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Euchre (The Dog Watch and Sailors Playing Cards), c.1889/90 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Euchre (The Dog Watch and Sailors Playing Cards) c.1889/90

Oil Painting
$1500
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16196
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 121 x 184.4 cm
Neue Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

The Message, 1890 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

The Message 1890

Oil Painting
$884
Canvas Print
$49.92
SKU: THS-16197
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 100 x 89.5 cm
Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Portrait of Molly Dalrymple, 1891 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of Molly Dalrymple 1891

Oil Painting
$770
Canvas Print
$46.82
SKU: THS-16198
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 60 x 50 cm
Private Collection

Alice Mary Clifford, Lady Hamilton-Dalrymple, 1891 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Alice Mary Clifford, Lady Hamilton-Dalrymple 1891

Oil Painting
$708
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16199
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 60 x 50 cm
Private Collection

A Woodland Bather, 1893 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

A Woodland Bather 1893

Oil Painting
$828
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16200
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 152 x 84 cm
Private Collection

August Blue, c.1893/94 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

August Blue c.1893/94

Oil Painting
$936
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16201
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 122 x 183 cm
Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Miss Muriel Lubbock, 1897 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Miss Muriel Lubbock 1897

Oil Painting
$884
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16202
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 127.5 x 95 cm
Public Collection

Bluebells, 1907 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Bluebells 1907

Oil Painting
$718
Canvas Print
$45.02
SKU: THS-16203
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 45.7 x 30.5 cm
Private Collection

Green Waters, 1911 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Green Waters 1911

Paper Print
$42.87
SKU: THS-16204
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 30.2 x 45.7 cm
Public Collection

Midsummer Morning, 1907 by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

Midsummer Morning 1907

Oil Painting
$1095
Canvas Print
$50.62
SKU: THS-16205
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 183.5 x 137.2 cm
Private Collection

'The Amsterdam', undated by Tuke | Painting Reproduction

'The Amsterdam' undated

Paper Print
$42.87
SKU: THS-16206
Henry Scott Tuke
Original Size: 24.8 x 34.3 cm
Private Collection

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