Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Fishing For Compliments

Walter Langley was the first major artist to settle in Newlyn in Cornwall, and became one of the most important of the colony of artists there. He moved there in 1882, and later lived in Penzance. His finest artwork was produced in the 1880s, mainly watercolours, although he later painted in oils. In keeping with the Newlyn tradition, the subjects of his paintings were typically Cornish fishermen and their families. In contrast to the characteristically bleak Newlyn ideal, much of Langley's work tended towards the sentimental. I like this sort of art [unlike other members of my family, but we won’t talk about that!]

I know nothing about him until this week – when I encountered one of his pictures on a tin of pilchards in Waitrose!

the greeting

Full marks to the Pilchard Works of Newlyn therefore, for using this lovely art from the Newlyn School to decorate their tins.

This one is “The Greeting” – on the smoked pilchard fillets in sunflower oil.

On the tins of fillets in olive oil you can see ‘Between The Tides” and on the pilchards in tomato sauce is Frank Bramley’s “Eyes and No Eyes”

between the tides tineyesnoeyes bramley

pilchardworks logoI bought one tin of the smoked pilchards.

They are a little more expensive than the Waitrose ‘essential’ range [in dull tins!]

But now I am concerned that I cannot bring myself to open the tin and eat the pilchards– I may just prop it up on the shelf and admire it!


  1. Ang...think, they will probably be collectors items one day, and your great grandchildren will take them onto Antiques Roaadshow.....

  2. I've never heard of Pilchards, but I would buy them for the art. What a wonderful idea!


  3. These are beautiful tins. I'd have a tough time opening them. So nice to look at whilst in the kitchen!



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