June 1897 by A.G. Sherwood Hunter (1846-1919)
This painting is a wonderful record of a lantern procession held to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The participants, all dressed in white, are shown snaking their way through a Cornish fishing village, possibly Newlyn or Mousehole.
Sherwood Hunter taught alongside Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes at the Newlyn School of Painting. Like many artists associated with the Newlyn School, Hunter was interested in depicting working people around the ports and villages of Cornwall. This interest in the observation and illustration of everyday day life may have been inspired by a visit that Hunter made in 1905 to the French Pont Aven School.
The painting underwent considerable conservation and restoration in 2010 which meant that, for the first time in over 100 years, the exquisitely painted faces of those in the procession could be seen in all their subtle glory. The delicate beauty in the children’s faces is made all the more remarkable when one takes into consideration the very limited palette Hunter works with.
Jubilee Procession in a Cornish Village, June 1897 can be considered as Sherwood Hunter’s masterpiece.
Adopted by: The sight of this wonderful painting, when displayed after the conservation and restoration, was more effective that one could have hoped and allowed it’s truly magical effect to be fully realised once more.
Painted by my great great uncle, George Sherwood Hunter. I hope to get down to Cornwall sometime to see it. Ian Hunter