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Picture This! St Ives Artistic Schools

Daniel Goddard (Head of the Pictures Department) conjures up the Cornish Coastline that has inspired artists of the St Ives Schools, particularly Robert Borlase Smart (1881-1947) and Julius Olsson (1864-1942).

Julius Olsson (1864-1942): Moonlit Coastal Scene, Headland Beyond (FS41/382).

Julius Olsson (1864-1942): Moonlit Coastal Scene, Headland Beyond (FS41/382).


.... the South West Coastal Path; breath-taking scenery for 630 miles along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall and Dorset and Somerset too. There are sections and stages that nip inland, dip out of sight or disappear into tree cover and hidden valleys, but thankfully there are miles and miles and miles of open, cliff top and sea-level strolling where the wild ocean crashes against the cliffs beneath, or laps along the shore, and stretches-off to the horizon line into the far blue distance. The sea is full of seals, dolphins and basking sharks, not to mention bass, mackerel, lobsters and numerous other large, small and tiny sea creatures.

Julius Olsson (1864-1942): Coastal Waves Breaking in Sunlight, Sailing Ship on the Horizon (FS41/385).

Julius Olsson (1864-1942): Coastal Waves Breaking in Sunlight, Sailing Ship on the Horizon (FS41/385).

In the air above, sea and coastal birds of all shapes, sizes and habits squawk, screech and chatter. The sea; whether in it, on it, above it or beside it, is an awesome, inspiring living world. On one day a silent, sleeping giant, the next an explosive, thunderous monster. One of Natures' kaleidoscopic orchestras, the sea inspires writers, poets, composers and painters. How many shades of blue or tones of white in a wave? How many different colours within the surf? Surfers claim to conquer or tame the waves. Maybe so. Or perhaps the wave momentarily flirts and allows the surfer some control. The sea is constantly changing shape. Waves are chaotic, random and unique. Their movement and form is irrational, wild and unpredictable, they reform and change in a milli-second.

Julius Olsson (1864-1942): Seascape, (FS41/387).

Julius Olsson (1864-1942): Seascape, (FS41/387).

The artist's colonies along the Cornish coast have naturally sought a bond and relationship will all aspects of the sea. Contemporaries Robert Borlase Smart and Julius Olsson, who after service in WWI returned to their wives in St Ives, were able to pick-up where they had left-off before the war. Both established studios and became founding influences and leading lights in the artistic Schools in St Ives. Their subjects were chosen and influenced by the Cornish landscape, the Cornish community and, of course, the sea. Smart and Olsson became masters of painting surf and waves, of capturing a unique milli-second of chaotic movement, on canvas, in paint.

Robert Borlase Smart (1881-1947): Moonlight, Waves Breaking on A Rocky Shore (FS41/386).

Robert Borlase Smart (1881-1947): Moonlight, Waves Breaking on A Rocky Shore (FS41/386).


  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Robert Borlase Smart (1881-1947)
  • Julius Olsson (1864-1942)

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About the Author

Daniel GoddardDaniel Goddard

Daniel Goddard is a Director of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood. He is also Head of the Picture Department.

Daniel Goddard was educated at The Kings Grammar School, Ottery St Mary and The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was commissioned in 1982 serving in Northern Ireland, The Falklands and Canada and in the 1990s completed an Open University degree in Art History and Humanities.

In 1988, he worked in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand and attended The Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. On his return to East Devon, Daniel joined Lawrences in Crewkerne as a saleroom porter and progressed to valuation and rostrum work.

In 1996, Daniel joined Bearne's in Torquay to head the Works of Art Department and transferred to Head of the Picture Department in 2000. He continues to run this busy department in the merged firm of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

Daniel Goddard has been a director of the firm since 1999 and is an experienced valuer and auctioneer with a good broad range of knowledge and specialist expertise in paintings. He was responsible for the organisation and cataloguing of the two major sales of paintings by Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002), which raised in excess of £3 million.