of West Cornwall. Now internationally celebrated, they are forever to be associated with the small fishing
ports of Newlyn and St Ives. Arriving from the artists' colonies of France, the Barbizon and Pont-Aven, and the
painting schools of London and Paris, they set up their studios in the cottages and net lofts overlooking the
sea. Here they painted: their subjects centred on the working life and conditions of the people they lived
amongst, and the stark beauty of the rugged Cornish landscape.
Challenging the accepted styles of the Victorian masters, their bold work, full of light and colour, often drew
upon the working life of the fishermen and their families, recording the tragedies and simple pleasures of their
In The Shining Sands, Tom Cross records the life and work of these artists, from the earliest arrivals in the 1870s
through to the decade surrounding the Second World War. In this period the artists' colony grew into one of
the most significant art movements of recent times, the influences of which directly inspired the post-war
`modern' movements, and which reverberate even today.
The Shining Sands includes almost one hundred colour pictures, and two hundred images in all, produced by
such artists as Walter Langley, Frank Bramley, Stanhope Forbes, Norman Garstin, Elizabeth Forbes, Lamorna
Birch, Laura Knight, Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood. The author describes the events and circumstances
behind the making of many of the paintings, adding a further dimension to our appreciation of these fine works.
The Shining Sands is a companion to Tom Cross' earlier work, Painting the Warmth of the Sun - St Ives Artists
1939-75, and was followed by Catching the Wave - Art and Artists in Contemporary Cornwall.