Henry Scott Tuke was born in York in to a Quaker dynasty in 1858, and went to live in Falmouth, Cornwall, in 1860. The happy memories of Tuke’s childhood spent on the beaches around Falmouth, watching the tall ships coming into the harbour from all over the world, helped his decision 23 years later to return to live firstly in Newlyn then in Falmouth where he remained for the rest of his life.
Below: "The Lighthouse"
Below: "The Bathers"
The beaches were an ideal setting as they were south facing, usually bathed in sunshine and had interesting barnacle encrusted rocks and shallow warm pools for the models to stand around. Tuke has started painting the nude figure whilst studying at the Slade in London where he won prizes for his life painting. But it was in Italy that he first painted male youths outdoors in 1881.
Pennance cottage was also, it seems, chosen by Tuke because if its proximity to some secluded and fairly inaccessible beaches such as Newporth beach. These beaches were vital to the subject that he created as his greatest artistic challenge, painting the nude human figure outdoors.
Below: "Midsummer Morning", 1908.
His first great success in his bathing boy paintings was ‘August Blue’ 1894 Tate Gallery. Having been bought for the nation it heralded Tuke’s arrival as an important artist of the late Victorian era.
Below: "Boy in the Cove"
Tuke enjoyed a considerable reputation, and he earned enough money from his paintings to enable him to travel abroad and he painted 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 and a Royal Academician in 1914.Works by Henry Scott Tuke are in public art collections across the world including at Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane in Australia, Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand and Munich, Germany as well as throughout the UK and Ireland.
Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916) was an American realist painter, photographer and sculptor. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history.
Below: A Self-Portrait
The Swimming Hole (above) (1884-5) features Eakins' finest studies of the nude, in his most successfully constructed outdoor picture. The figures are those of his friends and students, and include a self-portrait. The work was painted on commission, but was refused.
Below: "An Arcadian" Ca. 1883
In the late 1890s Eakins returned to the male figure, this time in a more urban setting. Taking the Count (1896), a painting of a prizefight, was his second largest canvas, but not his most successful composition.
In his later years Eakins persistently asked his female portrait models to pose in the nude, a practice which would have been all but prohibited in conventional Philadelphia society. Inevitably, his desires were frustrated.