The following is an excerpt from Manson's "The Later Victorians," a chapter in his book, The Tate Gallery, a copy of which can be found in the Internet Archive (see bibliography for details). — J.B.

[U]nder the Glasgow School influence deriving from Barbizon and the naturalism of Bastien-Lepage, a number of painters were drawn together. The Newlyn School was formed.... in the case of painters finding inspiration in nature, and not in books, there was greater warmth of feeling; greater and unsought variety of expression: things which might awaken an equal response and something deeper than the cold admiration which is the most that can be aroused by a painting by Alma-Tadema, be it never so skilful and accomplished.

There is sentiment in La Thangue 's Man with the Scythe (No. 1605), but it is natural, simple, and inherent in the subject, and the painting has a beauty of tone and arrangement.

And Sir George Clausen has found an infinite variety in nature, and his technique has grown and changed with his perception. At first he was frankly attracted by Bastien-Lepage, and his picture, The Girl at the Gate (No. 1,612), of 1889, pays homage to that master. It is an old favourite, which has not yet lost its power to please. That simple study of the peasant girl hesitant at the gate of a cottage garden is a psychological study a profound portrait which has captured something which is passing, if it has not already passed away. A different mood, a livelier attitude, is expressed in The Gleaners Returning (No. 2259), which is nineteen years later than the other picture. The reflective and lyrical spirit has been superseded by the active with an increase of vitality.

There is appreciation of natural beauty and an honest style of painting in Tuke's August Blue (No. 1613). Intensity of expression is arrested by its matter-of-fact perception, which predominates in his other and earlier picture All Hands to the Pump (No. 1,618).

Unreality of subject-matter as the dominant force in English painting expired with Marcus Stone and Waterhouse. The languishing sentimentality of the former is now merely a curiosity; while the mythology and Tennysonian idylls of the latter scarcely "earn a passing sigh." [124]

Related Material


Manson, J. B. The Tate Gallery. London: T. C. and E. C. Jack, 1934. Internet Archive. Web. 23 February 2021.

Created 23 February 2021