Samuel John Lamorna Birch

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Samuel John Lamorna Birch, British, 1869-1955
'King Charles's Castle, Salcombe, S. Devon'
signed 'S.J.Lamorna Birch' (lower left) further signed, titled and inscribed on artist label (affixed to stretcher verso)
Oil on canvas
102.2 x 127.3cm (40 1/4 x 50 1/8in).

John Birch was born on 7th June 1869 at Egremont, Birkenhead, Cheshire, near to the present Mersey Tunnels. He was the eldest of a family of ten children and, when their father died at an early age, left school early to help support them.

In 1889, at the age of 20, Birch visited the fishing village of Newlyn in Cornwall, having heard of the growing community of artists there, founded by Stanhope Forbes. Inspired by the landscape and the young artists he met in Cornwall, Birch took lodgings at Boleigh Farm, at the head of the Lamorna Valley, near St Buryan and started painting in earnest. Later on the advice of Stanhope Forbes, having saved enough money, he travelled to France settling in Paris, where he enrolled at Colarossi’s atelier to study for a year from 1895-6. Here he was influenced by the work of the Impressionists and began to paint from life. More »