Henry Scott Tuke Falmouth Art Gallery Cornwall

Henry Scott Tuke RA a major Victorian artist on display at the …

Falmouth Art Gallery Cornwall

Henry Scott Tuke's 1886 work 'Our Jack'. Falmouth Art Cornwall
‘Our Jack’ 1886 Henry Scott Tuke RA. Falmouth Art Gallery Cornwall

The 1886 work of Henry Scott Tuke (RA) ‘Our Jack’ features at a major exhibition of Tuke and his contemporary Charles Napier Hemy, at …

Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall.

From March to June 2017.

The model. Falmouth Cornwall

Tuke’s model for ‘Our Jack,  was Jack Rolling, a young man whose image in the painting exudes youth and vitality as well as hinting at the reality of life at sea of the times.

Henry Scott Tuke's painting of 'Jack Rolling' 1888. Falmouth Art Cornwall
‘Jack Rolling’ Henry Scott Tuke’s model. 1888. Falmouth Art Gallery Cornwall

Look deep, read into Tuke’s style and approach and work it out.

We are there in Falmouth Art Cornwall

‘Our Jack is posed on a Falmouth fishing boat.

The viewer is in direct communication with Jack and on the boat with him as he looks at us and us at him, without barriers.

We are drawn into the picture…

as a part of the story…

invited to reflect on his life and on our life.

A masculine facade in Falmouth Art Cornwall

Stern, upright, determined yet with an uncertainty and fragility that Tuke captures in the challenging, manly stare that could be interpreted as a masculine façade.

But could this facade actually be in truth a mask on an inner fatalistic fear of the next voyage and the future?

Detail from 'Our Jack' by Henry Scott Tuke 1886. Falmouth Art Cornwall
‘Our Jack’ (Detail) Henry Scott Tuke 1886. Falmouth Art Gallery Cornwall


The structural diagonals, verticals and horizontals, the bold colours and brushstrokes, give the picture a strength that is at odds with the vulnerability of the principle subject:

The human form.

It’s our proximity to this brave yet fragile figure that is unsettling and unnerving.


We can turn away and look at something less disturbing and go home to the warmth of our hearth. In the meantime, Jack remains on the deck in the face of what his fate, beyond his control, will bring.

Humankind’s stoicism as shown in Falmouth Art Cornwall

Tuke dramatically captures humankind’s stoicism against the odds and its determination to succeed and survive…

whatever we are confronted with.