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Maritime Museum displays Artwork

18 August — 18 September 2009

with very Cornish connections

AS part of the latest developments to the Maritime Museum's Cornwall and the Sea Gallery a painting with a very Cornish history has gone on display.

The Jane Slade by Reuben Chappell depicts the schooner that was named after the only woman shipbuilder in Cornwall, who was the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier's first novel The Loving Spirit. Jane Slade took control of her family's Polruan shipyard on her husband's death in 1870 and her legacy lived on through successive generations of shipbuilders, repairers and mariners, as well as in the ship named after her.

Reuben Chappell (1870-1940) is one of this country's best known "pierhead" painters. An artist who spent his entire working life making portraits of ships for seamen, his work is in the best tradition of "pierhead" painting - painted not for galleries or art collectors, but for the men whose lives and livelihoods were intimately entwined with the subjects of the painting. Chappell lived and painted in Cornwall from 1904 until his death in 1940.

The painting was kindly donated to the museum by Mrs G Adams, whose husband was given the painting by Ernie Slade of Slade's Boatyard.

Museum curator Sarah Riddle says: "I'm extremely excited about having this wonderful work of art on display. The painting of the Jane Slade has so many fascinating stories surrounding it, from the life of the real Jane Slade, to the artist who painted the schooner named after her and not forgetting the du Maurier connection.

This painting makes a fine addition to the Cornwall and the Sea gallery and sits beautifully along side an original lifebuoy from the Jane Slade itself. We are extremely grateful to Mrs Adams for donating it to the Museum, so that we are able to display it where everyone can appreciate it."

The painting of the Jane Slade is on display now in the Maritime Museum's Cornwall and the Sea gallery.