With public art collections closed we are bringing the art to you, exploring highlights and hidden gems from across the country in partnership with Art UK. Today’s pick: A Game of Cut-Throat Euchre from Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
Euchre, a five-card trick game traditionally played by four players, is still played in Cornwall and the south-west of England, where local people are immensely proud of their heritage. The game was exported by migrant Cornish workers, and there are Euchre leagues in Canada and the US as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Frank Gascoigne Heath’s work was completed in 1909 and joined Penlee House’s collection in 2017. Painted with great fluency and an impressive use of chiaroscuro, the work is significant for both its style and subject matter. It bears the hallmarks of the first-generation Newlyn School ethos of painting “plein air” social realism, which focused on ordinary people doing everyday activities, and it is a remarkable and arresting example of the Newlyn School painters’ concern with representing scenes from modern life.