This painting was inspired by a poem called 'The Ringers of Launcells Tower' by Reverend Hawker of Morwenstow. In this poem, the bell ringers who had rung the bells at the accession of George III in 1760, were still alive and able to ring the bells on his Golden Jubilee in 1810. The church of Launcells is midway between Stratton and Bude. As the painting was done 77 years after George III's Golden Jubilee, it is a total reconstruction. Nevertheless, Smallfield had visited the church tower before he started painting and had studied the bell ringers at his local church in Willesden, London, to get the figures' movements correct.
Where to see this painting?
Royal Cornwall Museum
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