Hemy, Charles Napier RA RWS (1841-1917): Falmouth Natives, signed, oil on canvas, 81 x 122 cms. Funded by The Art Fund and ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.
The fishermen depicted are oyster dredging from a working sail boat off Falmouth. The town still has a fleet of iconic working boats and a handful that fish in the traditional manner. Today's oystermen are governed by the same ancient laws and they must use sail power and hand-pulled dredges - a scene identical to that depicted in Hemy's painting. Falmouth is the only oyster fishery in Europe, if not the world, where such traditional methods must be used.
In the middle ground is HMS Ganges a three-masted ship moored for a period of 33 years (1866-1899) just off St Just Pool, Falmouth.