Whitby seascape finds a safe haven

Scarborough Art Gallery has completed the acquisition of a new painting by Victorian artist Robert Ernest Roe – which boosts its Whitby seascapes.

Boats making a dash for Whitby Harbour in a storm joins four other Roes in the Scarborough Collections.

The painting, which was previously owned by a Finnish collector, cost £11,000, of which £5,000 came from the Art Fund and £1,500 from the Friends of Scarborough Art Gallery, in The Crescent.

A further £4,400 came from the bequest fund held by Scarborough Borough Council and £100 from public donations at the art gallery.

The painting joins four other Roes at the art gallery and is an important addition to the collection as it is of Whitby: most of the gallery’s seascapes are of Scarborough.

Paul McCabe, chairman of the Friends of Scarborough Art Gallery, said: “The Friends are delighted to help find a safe haven for such an impressive addition to the collection at Scarborough Art Gallery.

“It finds a snug berth next to the other fine paintings of this genre already on show.”

Head of collections Karen Snowden said: “We wanted Boats making a dash because we already have several paintings by Roe and this one complements them.

“The Scarborough Art Gallery collection reflects the whole of the borough, not just the town of Scarborough.

At present, we only have watercolours of Whitby and this is an oil.”

It could be loaned to Whitby Museum at a later date.

Born in London, Robert Ernest Roe (1851-1921) was the son of animal painter Robert Henry Roe. He specialised in Yorkshire coastal scenes, and lived and worked in Scarborough, in a studio in Huntriss Row, from about 1868 to 1880.

He painted Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay, Sunderland as well as Scarborough.

Several of his Scarborough paintings feature ship wrecks: one in seas beneath the Grand and one off the Spa.