|Estimate:||£400 - £800|
oil on board, 37cm x 45cm
Born in Newlyn on 5 February 1886, and married to Albert Owen Jewels who died in WWI, Mary Jewels preferred to be known as a natural painter rather than primitive or naïve. She mainly painted in oils, her subjects being landscapes, portraits, fishing, and harbour scenes. She was a close friend of Dod Procter, and her sister, Cordelia was married to the sculptor Frank Dobson. Her subjects remained truly Cornish, as she did not travel further afield.
Never having any formal training, Jewels' introduction to painting came in 1915 when she was given a blank canvas and paints by Cedric Morris and told to "cover it by evening". She considered herself to be a Newlyn painter, though little interest was shown in her work and St Ives was more welcoming, she first exhibited in London in 1928, persuaded to do so by Augustus John who was a family friend.
Whybrow comments 'Mary was involved with both the early and later Newlyn school of painters. She lived so long that she spanned the generations. John Wells, on looking at her painting Cornfields with Peasants, dubbed her the English Van Gogh.' Reviewers continue to remark that she had interesting talents although has been largely overlooked amongst those who continue to focus on Alfred Wallis as 'the naïve' treasure. It has been suggested by Canney, in his Newlyn Notebook, that at her best, Jewels may well have influenced Christopher Wood of whom both she and her sister 'Delia' were very fond. A Solo exhibition of her work was held in Newlyn 1977, the same year in which she died.
Provenance: This small group of works were acquired from Cordelia Dobson, the Artist's sister.
A note supplied by the current vendor reads "This painting was bought from Mary Jewels' sister, Cordelia Dobson, by my mother and father-in-law - Stella and Fred Waygood in the 1970s. My mother had been evacuated to Cornwall and stayed with the sisters at Vine Cottage in Newlyn. She remained in touch with them and visited many times in the intervening years. The paintings were bought in memory of Mary Jewels after her death and to help Cordelia with repairs to the cottage that she and her sister had shared."