Ansteys Cove Torquay

THOMAS LUNY (1759-1837)


Height - 9.00inch (22.86cm)
Width - 12.00inch (30.48cm)
Framed Height - 12.00inch (30.48cm)
Framed Width - 15.25inch (38.73cm)


Ansteys Cove Torquay






1759 –1837 Signed & dated 1826
Oil on panel 9 x 12 inches
Framed size 12 x 15 ½ inches

Thomas Luny was born in London in 1759.
When he first exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1777 his address is given as ‘At Mr Holman’s,
Johnson Str. St. George’s’. This means that he was Francis Holman’s pupil and assistant at that time, and he may well have continued with Holman until he moved to Ratcliffe Highway, Stepney, in 1781 –1782.
His early work is very close to Holman’s except that he used a slightly lighter, warmer palette.
Luny ceased to exhibit at the Society of Artists after 1778 and only ever exhibited one picture at the Free Society, in 1783, concentrating instead on the Royal Academy exhibitions every year from 1780 to 1793. He showed nothing after 1793 until 1802, when he exhibited ‘Battle of the Nile’ and then nothing until the year of his death, when he exhibited three pictures.
He had ceased to paint by 1837 but the decision to exhibit would have been connected with the simultaneous exhibition of one hundred and thirty of his pictures in Old Bond Street. The fact that the exhibits cease in 1793, the year of the outbreak of the long French Revolutionary Wars, indicates that he did indeed join up. Why he should have done such a thing we do not know but he is supposed to have been a purser in the Royal Navy, and to have served under Captain George Tobin, R.N. That officer retired to Teignmouth after paying off in 1814 and was certainly a close friend of Luny’s there.
Luny’s own retirement from the Navy, due to rheumatoid arthritis, is usually given as 1810 but by his own account seems to have been earlier.
He kept an inventory of the pictures he painted with the title, the purchasers name and the price. The first entries are in February 1807 and include views of London Bridge and of Blackfriars Bridge; however, two views of Teignmouth are among the entries for June, so it seems he arrived there in the summer of 1807. Luny remained there to paint for the rest of his life and died in Teignmouth on September 29th, 1837.
His disability was severe confining him to a wheelchair and effecting his hand’s, so he held the brush between both hands or strapped to his wrist. This difficulty did not stop him painting superb small marine paintings, although the finish of his post 1830 works is weaker.

Examples of his work: The City Art Gallery, (2) Bristol, Exeter Art Gallery (4), National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (41), Peabody Museum of Salem, Mass, (1) The Mariners Museum, Newport News (3)

Bibl: Dictionary of Sea Painters – E.H.H. Archibald


£1,950.00 (Pound Sterling)
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