The artist was born in Redruth, Cornwall, the son of a mining engineer who emigrated to western Canada with his family soon after he was born. The whole family returned in 1901, and Claughton attended the Slade from 1907-1911, making there a life-long friend in the artist Paul Nash.
In 1912 he visited Italy for the first time, and was greatly influenced by Fra Angelico and other Florentines, thereby positioning himself differently from the on-going developments between Pre-Raphaelitism and the modernists progressing in Britain (Roger Fry's Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition that same year). Imprisoned due to his declared Conscientious Objection to WWI, he and his wife, Marie 'Kechie' Tennent, also an artist, moved to Overstrand on the north coast of Norfolk upon release in 1919, and then in 1927 to Southrepps nearby, where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Pellew began wood engraving in 1923, exhibiting with the newly founded Society of Wood Engravers, and his subjects, based on the revival begun by William Morris and inspired by Thomas Bewick, were country images. In 1925 he exhibited The Return, featuring a village which is probably Mousehole in Cornwall, which indicates at least a further visit to his native Cornwall. Portrait of a Shy Norfolk Artist is a sensitive and loving pen portrait of an extraordinarily skilled artist, who is less well known than he should be.
Painter of landscapes, figures, etcher, wood engraver
works and access
Works include: The Return (1925)
Access to works: Hove Museum and Art Gallery
David Gore writes (2013) My purpose is to tell you that his family has established a website which, apart from showing some examples of his work, more importantly gives access to the copyright holder as well as to the family at large (through the WATCH File). The website address is http://www.scribd.com/doc/117326171/ . Please also use this avenue to help visitors who are interested in this artist to find out more.
You may also like to know that a Catalogue Raisonné to illustrate and describe all Pellew's pictures is in course of preparation and should be published next year, 2014.
GI (5); Goupil (64); NEAC; RHA; RSA; Society of Wood Engravers
misc further info