This is Wilkinson at his best, using thick layers of paint to produce an almost three dimensional look to the painting. The light strikes off the cliffs, across the sea and beach. Figures can be seen on the beach enjoying the seaside, while the various boats on the sea enjoy the day’s sailing.
Wilkinson depicts the castle ruins on the hilltop, the stormy sky’s vibrant light perhaps suggestive of fresh hope.
Norman Wilkinson was a British artist usually of marine subjects in oil, watercolour and dry point, . An illustrator and poster artist, he also made an important contribution in both World Wars in the field of camouflage, namely dazzle camouflage.
Educated at Berkhamsted School and St Paul’s Cathedral choir school, he had little training in art but largely developed his style through his maritime career. In 1898 he started contributing to The Illustrated London News and The Illustrated Mail which was the start of a long association. In Paris in 1899 he studied figure painting but was already set upon working on marines. With his love of the sea he travelled extensively including visits to Spain, Germany, Italy, Malta, Greece, Aden, Bahamas, United States, Canada, and Brazil.
He was elected R.I. in 1906. During World War I he served at the Dardanelles, on submarine patrol in the Mediterranean, and on a minesweeper in the English Channel. One of his paintings, ‘The Approach to Plymouth Harbour’ was on the Titanic when it sank.
Museums & Galleries
Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Abbey Gallery, Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham, Beaux Arts Gallery, Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum, National Railway Museum and the Ulster Museum.