Alfred Wallis was nearly seventy when he took up painting to relieve loneliness after his wife’s death. A former seaman and scrap-merchant, he was untrained, but had a natural talent for painting from memory those things which were important to him in his life, primarily boats at sea and St Ives harbour.

Alfred Wallis adjusted his paintings according to the shape of his supports, which frequently included old boxes, lids and discarded canvases. Working in a limited number of colours, often with ship paint, he sometimes incorporated the natural colour of the board into the composition.


  • Title: Ship in Rough Sea
  • Creator: Alfred Wallis
  • Physical Dimensions: 11.5 x 19.2cm
  • Rights: Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
  • Medium: Oil on board

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