S. J. Lamorna Birch

British, b.1869, d.1955

Cornish Riviera

  • 1927
  • Watercolour
  • Presented by the Hon Mrs K Airini Vane, 1960
  • 500 x 598mm
  • 69/323
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By 1927 Lamorna Birch was well established as an artist of the British Impressionist School. He painted many scenes of the Cornish coast and countryside in which he lived. Here he has included in the middle foreground a train making its way back to London from what was popularly known at the time as the Cornish Riviera. Birch used a bright palette and was particularly concerned with capturing the effects of light on water. In this work he is concerned with the effects of light on the clouds.

He was born in Egremont, near Birkenhead and, apart from time spent later in his career studying in Paris, was entirely self-taught. He began painting full-time in 1892 and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1893. A high point in his career was his election as an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1926. In 1936/1937 Birch toured Australia and New Zealand. While in Otago he went on a brief sketching trip with New Zealand artist, Russell Clark (1905 -1966).