Edith Hannah Hudson

St Ives Harbour

Edith Hannah Hudson

St Ives Harbour

This late 19th-century oil painting by British artist Edith Hannah Hudson (1854-1920) depicts a sunlit view of St Ives Harbour in Cornwall. The Celtic Sea ripples with green and blue hues as the curved verticals of fishing boats bob by the ochre beach.

Hudson had already exhibited at the Royal Academy when she produced this work. At the time, St Ives was flourishing with artistic talent, numerous creatives had descended on the quaint town to seek inspiration and observe the effects of light. By the 1880s, the French impressionists were in full swing and the St Ives School of painters sought to work in this style along the majestic Cornish coast.

In 1877, the Great Western Railway extended its line into West Cornwall, which encouraged an array of artists to stay in the area. Hudson would’ve worked in the circle and footsteps of some of the greatest names in art including James McNeill Whistler, Walter Sickert and Anders Zorn.

It’s unclear whether she moved to the area as her Royal Academy submissions were set with a Bradford address. But it’s interesting that this particular piece feels similar to the philosophy and palette of Louis Monro Grier who opened the town’s first art school in 1888.

This beautiful little painting hails from an exciting time for English impressionism. When liberal thinking surmounted Academic constraints and British painters immersed themselves in blissful coastal views.

Signed in the lower right and framed.

Learn more about Edith Hannah Hudson in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 20½” x 17½” / 52cm x 45cm
Year of creation: c. 1890
Condition: Artwork presents well. One minor scratch and an old patched repair. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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