With its crisply modelled figures, Walter Frederick Osborne’s 1884 work A Tale of the Sea, above, highlights the influence of French Impressionism on a group of young British and American painters who congregated in the coastal villages of Suffolk.
Philip Wilson Steer first imported French Impressionism to Suffolk, having studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. By the the time Osborne made A Tale of the Sea, in the village of Walberswick near Southwold, the Suffolk coast was known as the crucible of British Impressionism.
‘Osborne was captivated by the work of the French painter Jules Bastien-Lepage and his square-brush technique,’ Lindberg explains. ‘If you look at the detail you see how he’s built up these blocks of colour and light. It really gives a freshness — you get that wonderful sea air in this.’
In the wake of the scandal surrounding John Singer Sargent’s Madame X, a painting