Alfred Wallis Artist & Mariner

A new book by artist and author Robert Jones

Original insights into the sources of Wallis’s imagery and research into his seagoing days and life in St Ives, with a foreword by art historian Jovan Nicholson.

Further information about Alfred Wallis Artist & Mariner


  • High quality 250 page production in both hard-cover and soft-cover versions.
  • Over 260 illustrations.of paintings and period photographs.
  • Includes images of paintings from public collections and little-known paintings from private collections.
  • Original interpretation of the sources of Wallis’s imagery drawn from the Cornish landscape and coast; from ports he knew and events he had witnessed.
  • An understanding of merchant shipping and the Cornish fishing industry of the period.
  • The author questions the perceived view of Wallis and gives a fresh insight into the artist’s character through correspondence and transcriptions from recorded memories of people who knew Wallis.

When so little was previously known about Alfred Wallis, both his life and creativity, Robert Jones’s book is essential reading for anyone who cares deeply about this highly original artist who led such a fascinating and tragic life. This book about Alfred Wallis is a testament to Robert Jones’s dedication and persistence. It is a singular achievement.

Jovan Nicholson


This new, revised and much enlarged edition of ’Alfred Wallis Artist and Mariner’ describes Wallis’s early life in Devonport and shows how visually rich memories of this period found their way into his paintings sixty years later.

The book documents his move to Penzance and his marriage to Susan Ward three weeks before Wallis crossed the Atlantic as a seaman in the schooner Pride of the West. Through historic ships articles the author presents conclusive proof of his seagoing days and shows how events Wallis witnessed during these voyages were later recorded in his paintings.

The book describes Alfred and Susan Wallis’s move from Penzance in the 1880s where, for thirty years, they successfully ran The Marine Stores on the Wharf in St Ives, and earned Wallis the nickname ‘Old Iron’.

The author tells the story of Wallis starting to paint following the death of his wife and recounts the discovery of his work by Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood and examines the direct link from Wallis’s work to the abstract art of the St Ives Modernist movement that was to follow.

Robert Jones reevaluates the distorted view of Wallis that was perpetuated after his death and describes the effect of the recent proliferation of forgeries of Wallis’s work.

The book contains previously unpublished images from the sketchbooks that Wallis filled with drawings during the last months of his life in Madron Public Assistance Institute.

Further insights into Wallis’s personality are revealed by previously unpublished letters. The book contains transcriptions of conversations between the author and people who knew and remembered Alfred Wallis in St Ives, and features many recordings made and transcribed by St Ives G.P. Dr Roger Slack.

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Soft cover £30, hard cover £35, hard cover in presentation slip-case £45.

Signed copies available from the author (all prices include postage in UK.) Also available from selected outlets.