Bryan Pearce St Ives Porthgwidden Beach, 1970
Bryan Pearce (1929-2006)
St Ives – Porthgwidden Beach 1970
Oil on board in original artist’s frame.
Signed, titled and dated to reverse.
56 x 76cm
Regarded as one of the UK’s leading naive artists, Pearce was born in St Ives where he lived the whole of his life. A sufferer of phenylketonuria, which affects the normal development of the brain, he attended a special school. His mother – an artist – encouraged his drawing and painting skills, attending the St Ives School of Painting from 1953-1957.
He specialised in paintings of his home town, producing only twelve large-scale oil paintings like this each year. His trademark flat style is with heavy outlines around brightly coloured areas. His placing of his signature on the painting is always a part of the composition, filling an otherwise blank space.
In this work he has chosen to paint the quiet beach on the north-east edge of the town which is sheltered from the worst of the elements. In the background the ancient chapel of St Nicholas on St Ives Head is clearly visible, surmounted by two stone crosses. In 1904 the chapel was destroyed by order of the War Office, being rebuilt and restored in 1911 in celebration of the Coronation of George V. No Pearce seascape would be complete without an anchored boat, here sited outside Porthgwidden bay.