T H Vic­tor and his Al­ter Ego

The Wokingham Paper - - LEISURE -

THOMAS Her­bert Vic­tor, the painter of our beau­ti­ful lit­tle pic­ture this week, was a very in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter who de­vel­oped his very own al­ter ego for rea­sons that will be­come clear.

Our paint­ing this week is a lovely wa­ter­colour of the artist’s home town of Mouse­hole in Cornwall.

It de­picts prob­a­bly the most fa­mous part of Mouse­hole – the busy lit­tle fish­ing har­bour. There is a boat about to leave the sanc­tu­ary of the har­bour walls with two men aboard head­ing out to sea for a day’s fish­ing.

Other boats lie teth­ered to the walls, berthed for the day, nets are hung over the har­bour railings dry­ing out af­ter those that have fin­ished their days fish­ing have left the har­bour for some rest.

There are one or two boats out at sea ei­ther just go­ing out or head­ing for the safety of the har­bour walls, with the hill­side vil­lage away in the back­ground.

T H Vic­tor was one of Cornwall’s most re­spected, pro­lific and truly home­grown artists, one whose work is now revered as hav­ing great topo­graph­i­cal and his­toric in­ter­est as he cap­tured many scenes around New­lyn, Mouse­hole, St Ives, Polperro and other lo­cal vil­lages around The Lizard as they were in sim­pler times and in ex­quis­ite de­tail.

Not all in Vic­tor’s life was sim­ple though… He was born in Mouse­hole in Septem­ber 1894 to the lo­cal vil­lage shoe­maker and his wife. By the age of 17 he was listed in the cen­sus as an art stu­dent.

Hav­ing shown ex­cep­tional artis­tic tal­ent all through his school years he ended up at art school in Pen­zance where in his first year there he was so good that he was awarded a schol­ar­ship to The Slade School of Art in Lon­don (one of the best and most re­spected art col­leges in the coun­try) but he re­fused to leave his beloved Cornwall.

In­deed, Vic­tor would never leave Cornwall in his whole life­time… in fact, the fur­thest he ever trav­elled was Truro!

De­spite this his work flour­ished and his rep­u­ta­tion grew.

Early on he was signed up by one par­tic­u­lar gallery in Pen­zance who helped him pro­mote his work and as­sisted him in grow­ing his fol­low­ing for the con­trac­tual rights to sell all his work.

Now for a young man at the be­gin­ning of his ca­reer this was a good move but later as he de­vel­oped a fol­low­ing and some cus­tomers who wanted to com­mis­sion work from him he needed to do this free from the re­stric­tion of this ear­lier con­tract, but the gallery would not al­low him to break free.

To get around this, he de­vel­oped an al­ter ego…W Sands. A num­ber of his com­mis­sions and later works were painted un­der this pseu­do­nym to en­able him to grow his busi­ness in­de­pen­dent from the gallery com­mit­ment.

He ended up own­ing his own gallery from 1960 un­til his pass­ing in 1980.

This paint­ing is one of his ear­lier works and as such is signed T H Vic­tor. How­ever, I do also have some of his later works in the gallery which are signed with his al­ter ego sig­na­ture of W Sands.

This paint­ing is avail­able to view and/or pur­chase in my art gallery in Holme Grange Craft Vil­lage.

It is listed at a mere £350, a very rea­son­able price for a work by this artist.

Al­ter­na­tively, we now of­fer a leas­ing ar­range­ment, so this along with all of our paint­ings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee.

This piece, along with many other great works, is avail­able to view, pur­chase or rent at An­tiqArt, the “preloved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Vil­lage or on­line at www. an­tiqart.co.uk or call us on 0118 327 5421 for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

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