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Oil on panel, 31.7 cm x 39.4 cm, inscribed on reverse by unknown hand  "W.H. MARGETSON ROI RI  LULWORTH COVE". Price: £2,300

William Henry

When Margetson painted the seashore it was customarily as a setting for allegorical female figures in diaphanous drapery or semiclad young women in classical poses (e.g. The Sea Hath Its Pearls, Poseidon's Mistress on the Shore). But in the present sketch of beached boats at Lulworth Cove the artist's model seems to have taken the day off, allowing him to execute this direct and unmediated exercise in light and tone. Devoid of anecdote, it takes as its subject the softly luminous mid-tones of the seashore in muted light. At the same time, is it just the viewer's imagination or are the gentle ripples shimmering expectantly as if a sea nymph were about to emerge from the translucent waters of the cove?

Click on image for larger size

Click on image for larger size​

The beach at Lulworth Cove

Old photographs show the beached rowing boats and wheeled gangplank that are to be found in Margetson's composition. The gangplank was wheeled into the sea to form a landing stage for paddle steamers calling at Lulworth Cove. 


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