Tristan and Isolde in Cornwall

Patrick Hayman1965

Arts Council Collection

Arts Council Collection
London, United Kingdom

Patrick Hayman was fascinated by stories, myths and legends and he wrote and illustrated his own poems. His paintings of myths serve as analogies for the 'real' world. The sea in particular was an important element in his work and 'Tristan and Isolde in Cornwall' is one of many works he painted on this tragic Arthurian love story. Isolde was betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall, but during her voyage from Ireland to her wedding she fell in love with Tristan. Hayman wrote: 'Romantic or sinister, the couple appear against a dark sea, a ship highlighted against the sky, mysterious build-up near the hand denotes Cornwall, a phallic mine chimney sets the tone. Isolde's face is drawn, one feels the bones of her face and the sense of clenched teeth against her lips. Tristan wears a hat, his face reminiscent of a much later epoch of suffering, against his heart an alarm clock.'


  • Title: Tristan and Isolde in Cornwall
  • Creator: Patrick Hayman
  • Date Created: 1965
  • Physical Dimensions: 55.9 x 76.2cm
  • Rights: Estate of Patrick Hayman. All rights reserved, DACS 2015
  • Medium: gouache on paper

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