The Artist & Art Lovers Draw of Cornwall and St Mawes

Cornwall has been capturing the imagination of artists for centuries with its seascapes and coastlines, its stories and the extraordinary quality of its light inspiring the likes of Whistler and Turner who both visited and worked here in their heyday!

But it was from the late 19th century that many other ‘big name’ artists followed suit and began flocking to Cornwall, which soon became a beacon for artists and art-lovers alike, and has remained one ever since.

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Art Inspired by the Cornish Coast


Among the many artists who moved to Cornwall were the pioneers of the ‘Newlyn Schools’ of artists: Walter Langley, Stanhope Forbes, Christopher Wood, Ben Nicholson and Alfred Wallis.


Settling in and around the village of Newlyn, they would helping to establish a colony of artists from the 1880’s to the 1920’s, and would be the forefront of a movement that would become Cornwall’s answer to the French impressionists. The wide-open skies and seas, the vivid intensity of the palettes, which are to be found in so much Cornish art, owe much of their freedom and grace to these Newlyn pioneers.

The Penzance School of Art was later founded in 1853 while, one hundred and thirty-five years later, the Tate established a gallery at St Ives which still showcases local artists today.


The impulse which drew so many revered artists to Cornwall has never faded and once you visit and see the spectacular sites that have been the source of so much inspiration, you’ll soon understand why.


The result of more than a century of this inpouring and hothousing of talent is that you will find at least one art gallery in most Cornish towns, some of which showcase both Cornish and international art often by renowned artists, such as our very own Jeremy Houghton.

Come along to our upcoming Jeremy Houghton exhibition, here at St Mawes Gallery, for a glimpse at some of the fantastic artwork our Cornish gallery has to offer.

The Draw of St Mawes


Just over an hour’s drive from the town of Newlyn, which changed the face of British art forever and a similar distance from Penzance with its famous art school and St Ives with its Tate Gallery, St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula has a thriving artistic community of its own, while its landscapes and landmarks have inspired its fair share of artistic souls including artists like John Dyer and Edward Dowden.


When you come to St Mawes, you will see and feel the same light and beauty that has been the draw for so many artists for more than a century. When you come to the St Mawes Gallery, you will find those same qualities captured on canvass – pieces that represent the inspiration, the tradition and the continuing the artistic movement that is uniquely Cornwall’s.

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Through the St Mawes Gallery, we hope to continue and even add to the impetus that continues to draw so many artists and art lovers to Cornwall and, of course, to St Mawes in particular.


We hope that you will come and find us here. And we hope that by visiting, enjoying - perhaps even purchasing - a piece of the art we feature in the gallery, you will also become part of that artistic movement, its past, its present and its future.