Click here to skip to content



Photographer: Sutcliffe, Frank Meadow (1853 - 1941)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1891

Shelfmark: 1757.b.14

Item number: 29

Length: 16.9

Width: 12

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

"That Mr. Sutcliffe's artistic gifts and training enable him, as I said some time back, 'to catch a picture from the happiest moment,' we can have no better illustration than his group of bathing boys, which he entitles 'Water Rats.' The scene is no set picture, but is one of a kind of daily occurence during the summer in Whitby harbour; yet at what a happy moment has Mr. Sutcliffe seized upon it, and what a happy point has he taken it from - the whole thing is full of 'go' and vitality - see the strained shoulder muscles of the boy who is evidently going to splash with his right foot while balancing himself on his hands under water, then see the pained face of the poor little chap in the boat who has just hurt himself, or note the grip of the hands of the boy in the left hand group who is trying to reach a higher standing place on slippery perch, or mark the vibrating reflections in the water; indeed, look where you will, the whole thing is full of life, and is a splendid specimen of what photography can achieve in the hands of an artist...Especially would I call attention to the evanescence of the old town in sunlit misty atmosphere - it is no mere blur, but is full of the most delicate detail, and must recall to those who know Whitby well the fairy-like effect of almost floating in the sea that the old place so often has."

Descriptive text by Charles Noel Armfield from 'Sun Artists' (Number 8)

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: