Regent’s Park: The Jolly Roger in the Home Water

Laura Sylvia Gosse (1881 - 1968)

Oil on canvas


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© Courtesy of the artist's estate/Bridgeman Art Library

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  • About the work

    Gusting along the boating lake in Regent’s Park in London, a number of small sailboats and sculls feature in this painting by Laura Sylvia Gosse. In the background are the domed roofs of the Regency terraced houses that line the Outer Circle around the park. Gentle ripples disturb the placid surface of the lake, which reflects the boats’ red and white sails in broken dabs of colour. Fluttering from the mast of the largest boat is the Jolly Roger, that famously distinctive black and white pennant synonymous with pirate ships. Its appearance in the relaxed charm of Gosse’s scene calls to mind the boating adventures of Arthur Ransome’s fictional children in Swallows and Amazons, set in the Lake District of the late 1920s.

    The life and artistic career of Laura Sylvia Gosse has often been discussed within the context (often, the shadow) of the artist Walter Sickert. Although her life was inextricably linked on a professional basis to that of the older artist, more recent evaluations of Gosse’s work have underlined her distinguished achievements in her own right.
  • About the artist
    Laura Sylvia Gosse was one of the first women members of the London Group of artists. The daughter of Sir Edmund Gosse, the essayist and critic, she was brought up among a formidable group of her father’s friends, including novelists Thomas Hardy and Henry James. Gosse studied art at St John’s Wood School of Art, the Royal Academy Schools and under Walter Sickert. Sickert was the primary influence on her paintings - mainly portraits, cityscapes and interiors - and she maintained a life-long friendship with him. Following Sickert’s death in 1942 her own work continued to grow in strength and assurance until she was forced to stop painting due to failing eyesight in 1961.
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  • Details
    Regent’s Park: The Jolly Roger in the Home Water
    Oil on canvas
    height: 51.00 cm, width: 76.50 cm
    Purchased from Mayor Gallery, December 1979
    bl: Gosse
    GAC number