The Kitto Rock, Boscastle, Cornwall

Charles Ginner (1878 - 1952)

Oil on canvas


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  • About the work

    Boscastle is a small fishing village in North Cornwall situated along the rugged coastline of the Atlantic. Inspired by the dramatic cliffs and rocks, Charles Ginner visited the area on several occasions during the 1940s. Another view of Boscastle also painted by Ginner (Hartland Point from Boscastle, 1941, Tate, London) shows the landscape unfolding to the lighthouse at Hartland Point.

    Ginner’s interest in contemporary French painting is evident in this scene, both in terms of his subject matter and his painting technique. French Impressionist artists such as Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley often produced pictures of their everyday surroundings, painted directly outdoors to provide ‘immediate’ images. Ginner was one of several artists who were part of the Fitzroy Street and Camden Town Groups. Instigated by artist Walter Richard Sickert in the early 20th century, artists in both circles found new inspiration for their art in everyday urban surroundings. In this respect, both of these art circles (which Ginner joined in 1911 and 1914), took their cue from late French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, styles that Ginner had studied at first hand in Paris. Modern French painting was the source of the bright colour and almost complete absence of black in this picture. The rich colour and attention to detail in this painting are typical of his work, as is the use of relatively thick oil paint, applied in careful, small brushstrokes.

  • About the artist
    Charles Ginner was born in Cannes, France, to Anglo-Scottish parents. He worked in an architect's office in Paris from 1899 to 1904 before studying painting at various institutions until 1908. In 1909 he visited Buenos Aires and held his first exhibition there, and late in that year he settled permanently in London. Ginner was a key member of the Camden Town Group founded by Walter Sickert and painted urban scenes of modern life in the metropolis. Ginner also worked as an Official War Artist during the Second World War.
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  • Details
    The Kitto Rock, Boscastle, Cornwall
    Oil on canvas
    height: 50.00 cm, width: 68.50 cm
    Purchased from Mayor Gallery, March 1974
    br: C. GINNER
    Mrs J A Wightman-Harrison; Mrs Ruby Ginner-Dyer; London, Mayor Gallery 1974
    GAC number