This painting depicts a number of boats lying on the flats at Mount’s Bay in Cornwall. Mount’s Bay is one of a number of places along the Cornish coast, including Falmouth and St Ives that Wallis painted on several occasions. As a fisherman in the 1870s and 1880s, Wallis was familiar with the geography and features of the area surrounding the bay such as St Michael’s Mount, represented by a cone with a flag on top.
Boats at Rest in Mount's Bay
43.4 x 48.2 cm
Oil on board
Date of work
English painter, fisherman and scrap merchant. Alfred Wallis claimed to have gone to sea at the age of nine and was involved in deep-sea fishing, sometimes sailing as far as Newfoundland. In 1890 he moved to St Ives in Cornwall where he set up as a marine scrap merchant. In 1912 he retired. His wife died in 1922, whereupon he took up painting and was famously discovered by Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood.