An Alpine Village in Basque

36 x 45 cm
Signed with studio stamp

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Eleanor Mary Hughes, was a New Zealand landscape artist who mostly painted in watercolours. She settled and worked in Britain and became an active member of the Newlyn School of artists and the nearby Lamorna artists colony.

Hughes was born in Christchurch in New Zealand, and studied at Canterbury Art College. In 1900 she won a medal from the Canterbury Fine Art Society for a series of drawings of trees. Her parents were originally from the west country of England and she choose to study art in England. She first visited Britain to study with C N Worsley between 1901 and 1903 and also, for a short while, attended the School of Painting and Drawing run by Stanhope Forbes and Elizabeth Forbes in Newlyn. In 1907 Hughes returned to England to study at Frank Spenlove’s Yellow Door Studio in London before returning to Newlyn to study at the Forbes School. In Newlyn, she met and, in January 1910 at St Buryan’s Church, married a fellow student, the painter Robert Morson Hughes. The couple designed and built their own home, Chyangweal, near St Buryan. The house became a regular social centre for the artists settled in the area. Eleanor Hughes was a skilled pianist and would lead recitals at the house. In Cornwall the couple became lifelong friends with Laura Knight and her husband Harold Knight, both of whom painted them a number of times.

Hughes owned her own studio in the Lamorna valley where she created landscape paintings, often featuring the stone walls, waterfalls and streams of the local area. Hughes also painted in France and the Pyrenees on a regular basis. From 1911, she exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and eventually with the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. In total Hughes had some 37 pictures shown at the Royal Academy. In 1933 she was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. As well as in galleries in Newlyn and St Ives, Hughes also had works shown at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. Hughes sold her studio in 1940 and appears to have produced little after doing so. She died in Lamorna in 1959.