Myles Tonks RI RBA, Rocky River - Early 20th-century watercolour painting




An original early 20th-century watercolour painting, Myles Tonks Rocky River.

Unsigned.
In good condition for its age, with small pin holes to the edges which could be covered by a mount.
27.3cm x 38.1cm.
Unframed.

This work forms part of a collection of paintings we have by Myles Tonks RI RBA. Some of the paintings are signed, and have inscriptions verso. The collection includes watercolour landscapes predominantly around the West Country and North Wales, and Scottish landscape scenes in oil. Specific views include Nettlecombe Court, Exmoor and Taunton Vale, Somerset as well as Snowdonia and the River Llugwy in Wales.

The interest created in Tonks’s landscape watercolours comes from the way in which his energy and speed of application of paint turns a relatively unremarkable view into a snapshot of a place, full of feeling. The addition of charcoal brings definition and dynamic fluidity of line. Tonks captures a sense of what it is to be immersed in nature – a prosaic corner of riverbank vegetation, or view across wooded fields, is transformed by the energy he harnesses in depicting rushing water or entangled foliage. His oils feature harmonious blocks of colour applied thickly and vigorously, which beautifully convey the wild yet tranquil nature of uninhabited landscapes.

Born at Darley, Warwickshire, Myles Tonks RI RBA (1890-1960) studied at Medway School of Art and received training from his uncle, Henry Tonks, the influential Slade Professor of Fine Art 1918-1930, whose other students included amongst others David Bomberg, Mark Gertler, Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Augustus John, Gwen John, Percy Wyndham Lewis and Stanley Spencer. Henry Tonks was ruthless in his teaching of life drawing and copying from the Antique, instilling in his students the importance of accurate draughtsmanship – It is said that Myles was the only relation with whom Henry cared to talk about painting – and it was from this grounding that Myles Tonks excelled.

Myles Tonks favoured freely painted landscape subjects. He enjoyed travelling to remote parts of the British Isles to immerse himself in areas of rugged and uninhabited nature. He would create sketches, notes and photographs in situ, which he then used as inspiration for paintings back at his studio.

Tonks exhibited at the Royal Academy, the New English Art Club, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and elsewhere. Like his uncle, Myles was a medical doctor by profession. He lived at Watchet in Somerset.

JA-453


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