The two boats are small cutter-rigged fishing smacks, typical vessels of the 1890s and early twentieth century. This painting may depict two cutters in Mounts Bay, which was an important fishing ground on the South Coast, though there are no identifying land marks.
Wallis: Two Boats
213 x 305 mm
Oil paint on board
Date of work
Born in 1855 Alfred Wallis was an English fisherman, scrap merchant and painter. Claiming to have gone to sea at the age of nine, Wallis was involved in deep-sea fishing and had sailed as far as Newfoundland, Canada. In 1890 he moved to St Ives where he became a marine scrap merchant. He retired in 1912 and when his wife died in 1922 he took up painting to keep himself company.