Pre-Raphaelite style was introduced to Newcastle by William Bell Scott, who was friendly with leading Pre-Raphaelite artists in London. Scott moved to Newcastle in 1843, becoming Master of the Government School of Design, where he stayed until 1863. His style reflects the bright, luminous colour and close observation of nature championed by the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Scott taught many North-East artists. They included Charles Napier Hemy, who painted several outstanding Pre-Raphaelite coastal views.
Charles Napier Hemy (1841-1917)
Ruin of a Northumbrian Keep, 1864
Oil on canvas
Given by Councillor F.E. Weightman, 1913
People are salvaging a mast from a wrecked ship on the beach below the Lilburn Tower at Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland. Many voyages ended in disaster on the rocky coast there in storms in the 19th century. Behind the figures, masts show where fishing boats are moored in a narrow gully. The sharp detail and bright colours of the picture reflect the influence of Pre-Raphaelite style, which Hemy was taught by William Bell Scott in the 1850s. Hemy painted this picture while he was living in Gateshead.
William Bell Scott (1811-1890)
Study of Flowers and Fruit, 1860
Oil on canvas
Given by Mrs W. Cosens Way, 1905
William Bell Scott observed these September fruits and flowers very closely. He has even shown the feeding marks left by wasps on the ripe greengage on the left. Like other Pre-Raphaelite artists, Scott aimed to see nature in a fresh way. Scott used a Pre-Raphaelite technique, painting over a layer of white paint. This gave extra brilliance to the colours of his composition. He built up the forms with tiny brushstrokes and little dots of colour. This allowed him to use pure, unmixed colour, keeping maximum brightness.