Paintings of Romney Marsh
Many artists have tried to capture the essence of Romney Marsh on canvas. To see a selection of some of the more well known, please either view our Gallery/Slideshow, use the index of artists below or just scroll down the page. Please click on the image to enlarge it.
Leslie James Cole (11 August 1910 – 1976) was a British artist and teacher. He served as a war artist from 1942 to 1946 during which time he recorded events in several theatres of war and also the aftermath of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Frederik George Rees Cuming RA (born 1930), normally known as Fred Cuming, is a contemporary British landscape painter, who works in a traditional manner. He is a vital part of the English landscape painting tradition. He has always been fascinated by the changing landscape around us: the skies, fabulous rainbows and wonderful rapid violent storms.
Fred Cuming has painted hundreds of Romney Marsh/Camber/Rye pictures.He is a member of the Royal Academy and lives at Iden in East Sussex.
Charles Henry Sims RA, born in 1873, was a British painter of portraits, landscapes, and decorative paintings. Charles Sims didn’t visit Dymchurch very often, quite possibly only once, to see friend fellow artist Paul Nash, who lived in Dymchurch.
Happily, Sims’ visit to Dymchurch in 1920 left a painted legacy, a beautifully worked view of the beach, which is bright, modern and uplifting. It’s now in the Tate Britain Collection.
John Piper (1903 – 1992) was an English painter, printmaker and designer of stained-glass windows and theatre sets. His work often focused on the British landscape, especially churches and monuments.
One of his favourite places to visit was Romney Marsh where he recorded, in his own particular way, the churches of the Marsh and also the Military Canal.
Harold Gilman was a British Impressionist and a member of the Camden Town Group, sometimes called the English Van Gogh. He grew up at Snargate Rectory, where his father was Rector. Standing next to the church of St Dunstan, the Rectory was built in 1891 and first occupied by Gilman’s father.
Harold Gilman was born in 1876, the second of seven children, and lived at Snargate Rectory till his thirties, when he brought his bride Grace to live there, for the first two years of their marriage, 1902-04.
He painted Romney Marsh in c1910 and it's now in the Tate.
Benjamin Lauder "Ben" Nicholson, OM, born in April 1894 was a British painter of abstract compositions (sometimes in low relief), landscape and still-life.
Nicholson visited fellow artist Paul Nash at his cottage in Dymchurch in 1923. The two artists walked along the seawall (as Nash was prone to do most days) the outcome of the walk was, as far, as is known, Ben Nicholson’s only painting of Dymchurch beach.
The painting is in a modern and almost abstract style, but it certainly evokes the atmosphere and colours of the beach at low tide.
Sir Noel Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance.
He liked to paint and in the only book dedicated to Noël's paintings, Sheridan Morley writes:
"In his lifetime, Noël always reserved his own paintings as first-night or birthday gifts, allowing only one or two to go for the very occasional charity auction and fearing, as he once wrote, that a kind of 'celebrity snobbism' might otherwise make them valued more for their autograph than for their intrinsic worth."
Paul Nash was one of the most original British artists of the first half of the 20th Century, who lived and painted in Dymchurch for part of his life. Working in the tradition of William Blake and Samuel Palmer, his paintings express a deep, mystical attachment to the English countryside.
In 2011 a new seawall was built at Dymchurch - it is impressively futuristic but still somehow retains the atmosphere that is embodied in Paul Nash's paintings and etchings.