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The following three works are studies for one of two companion pieces, planned by Sherwood Hunter and executed after his arrival in Newlyn in 1898. The first shows St Michael's Mount in the distance, a landmark clearly visible across Penzance Bay, from Newlyn Harbour. The recently constructed harbour light, the subject of Stanhope Forbes's The Lighthouse, 1893 (Manchester City Art Gallery) is also visible.
Hunter had gone to Newlyn at Forbes's invitation to teach at the art school which he had recently opened. Having previously worked in Brittany, southern Spain and Venice, and at Volendam and Marken on the Zuider Zee, he had a strong exhibiting profile. Mrs Lionel Birch in her monograph of Elizabeth and Stanhope Forbes recalled Hunter at Newlyn as an artist of 'sincere and thoughtful individuality'. His studio, which was in the same garden as the Forbes school, was 'a perfect treasure-house of beautiful and interesting work. Pictures rarely seen in exhibitions - for he loves to keep them about him - but most stimulating to the young artists whenever they are privileged to look through the rich store of sketches and large completed pictures brought back from many lands' (Stanhope Forbes, A.R.A. and Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes, A.R.W.S., 1906, pp. 116-7).
In Everybody loves a Sailor, Hunter plays an interesting variation on Forbes's and Harold Harvey's harbour paintings. These, like Forbes's The Fleet in Sight, 1911, (private collection) frequently show groups of anxious villagers looking out to sea for the return of the fishing fleet - a familiar, and well-attested Newlyn theme, during the first phase of the colony's existence. Hunter, in Everybody loves a Sailor and its companion, How happy I would be with either, shows groups of young men and women from the village eyeing one another rather than the distant horizon. Both pictures contain references to James Tissot's canvases, showing courting soldiers and sailors. The light sketching technique deployed by Hunter for these studies, however, has more obvious connections with compositional studies by Whistler and Steer, than the highly wrought, 'photographic' works of Tissot.
We are grateful to Kenneth McConkey for his help in preparing this entry.