John Emanuel




John Emanuel is a well-known St Ives Group artist, who was born in Bury, Lancashire in 1930. He started to paint in 1963, and in 1964 he moved to Cornwall, since when he has had a studio in Porthmeor overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the Porthmeor Beach side of St Ives. Over the next several decades he spent part of almost every day drawing, painting, and making prints and small sculptures. The studio was previously used by the sculptor John Milne.

The first solo exhibition of his work was held at the Wills Lane Gallery, St Ives in 1975. He often started by drawing from life and then producing small clay sculptures, from which he created paintings in thick oil paint and liquidex on various media. Emanuel’s monumental nude or semi-nude figures painted in oil or gouache are placed within a landscape or a seascape. They are integrated with the earth or the sea through their close relationship with the texture and colour of their natural surroundings.

Emanuel’s distinctive painting technique in oil and mixed media affords the figure a sculptural quality. The horizontal bodies lengthened across the picture space appear to take on the contours of hills or rocks, and they evoke a reading of the nude as a landscape. In these works, the artist builds up layers of pigment and creates ridges and hollows which result in a rich and varied surface. These paintings present a striking difference to his freely drawn and lightly painted gouaches, where, while still using warm and dusty earth shades, Emanuel has now added vivid contrasting colours that can be found in the sometimes cobalt blue of the sea or the delicate pink of an angel skin coral.




1975 Wills Lane Gallery, St Ives
1976 Wills Lane Gallery, St Ives
1976 Newlyn Gallery
1979 Penwith Gallery
1979 Gilbert Parr Gallery, London
1979 Montpelier Studio, London (opening exhibition)
1982 Montpelier Studio, London
1984 Montpelier Studio, London
1986 Salthouse Gallery, St Ives
1987 Montpelier Studio, London
1988 Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath
1991 Montpelier Studio, London
1992 Beaux Arts Gallery, Bath
1993 Candover Gallery, Alresford, Hampshire
1994 Sims Gallery, St Ives
1997 Candover Gallery, Alresford, Hampshire
1998 Montpelier Sandelson, London
2000 Candover Gallery, Alresford, Hampshire
2004 Maltby Art, Winchester

2005 The Nude Exhibition, Medici Gallery, Cork Street, London

2006 St Ives Exhibition, Belgrave Gallery, London

2006 Mixed exhibition , Walker Gallery, Honiton, Devon

2006 The Katherine House Gallery, Marlborough, Wiltshire

2006 St Ives exhibition, Castlegate House Gallery, Cockermouth, Cumbria

2006 Fund raising exhibition by the Porthmeor Studios artists, St Ives Society of Artists Gallery, Norway Square, St Ives

2006 Porthmeor Studios Artists print portfolio, Tate St Ives

2007 Portmeor Studios Artists, St Ives Society of Artists, Norway Square St Ives





Cornwall County Council Schools Library Service

Crown Courts, Truro

Evans & Shalev, Architects, London

Penlee House Museum and Art Gallery, Penzance

Robinson Associates, Painswick, Glos

St Ives Junior School

Slaughter & May, London

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Truro School, Cornwall