Myles Tonks (1890 - 1960)

Dornadilla’s Castle, Sutherland, North Scotland, circa 1920

SKU: 2042
Watercolour, 10 x 14 in. (25.5 x 35.5 cm.)

Height – 25.5cm x Width – 35.5cm


the artist’s family, by descent.

Provenance: the artist’s family, by descent.

This striking landscape shows the Pictish Broch of Dornadilla (Dun Dornaigil )  in Sutherland, a Prehistoric dry stone defense fortress.

Benefiting from the unrivalled teaching of his uncle,
Henry Tonks, Myles Tonks excelled in painting on-the-spot landscape and
coastal views, responding especially to the rugged scenery of the
Scottish Highlands. According to his grandson, Myles Bevis, he
enjoyed travelling to areas where he could be alone and at one with the
countryside and as removed as possible from humanity such as remote
mountainous country and serene coastal areas.  His mainly landscape art
reflects this outlook and rarely features people.  Excluding sketches,
photos and notes which were carried out in situ most of his art was
created from these in the studio, cigarette in long holder clamped
firmly between his teeth, and oil paintings in various stages of
completion were scattered all around this until dry enough to receive
the next layer or the final touches to the sky.  Tonks’ paintings were
rarely signed by the artist unless created to be exhibited or had been
Myles Tonks was also a much respected medical general practitioner
which he retired from  in 1958. 

We are grateful to Myles Bevis for assistance

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Myles Tonks
1890 - 1960

Painter and draughtsman who was by profession a surgeon, born at
Darley, Warwickshire. Studied at Medway School of Art and with Henry
Tonks. Myles was the only relation with whom Henry cared to talk about
painting and the former Slade Professor left Myles his art books.
Exhibited RA, NEAC, RI, ROI, RHA, PS and elsewhere. Percy V Bradshaw in
his book Water-colour: A Truly English Art illustrates Tonks’ Col de
Lauteret mountainscape in which the artist looked for “translucency,
an unworried paper-surface”, a good example of his work. Lived at
Watchet, Somerset.