Boys Bathing

Image credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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Henry Scott Tuke studied in Italy and Paris before settling in Cornwall in 1883. The influence of Impressionism can be seen in this work. Feathery strokes and flicks of violet and turquoise evoke the glitter and haze of the sunlit sea, and the swimming boy is shown merely as a bobbing head. His seated companion is loosely modelled in softly fluid paint. Tuke felt that painting outdoors was the best way to capture 'the truth and beauty of flesh in sunlight by the sea'.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery



Boys Bathing




oil on canvas


H 61.3 x W 46.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Sir Francis N. Cowlin, 1945

Work type



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