G.H, Jenkins was a West Country Artist who painted throughout Devon and Cornwall in both oil and watercolour. He is reported to have been an active artist between 1870 and 1910, specialising in local views which were often used as book illustrations for the many tourists brought to the area by the growth of the Railways. From 1873 to 1880, he lived at Saltram Terrace, Plympton, on the outskirts of Plymouth. He also exhibited a small number of works painted in North Wales. For the most part, his work has eluded the Directory writers of period and he has come to our notice via Auction catalogues. Today his works are very popular and you are unlikely to be able to purchase one of his original works for under £2000.
George Henry Jenkins and his wife Hannah had seven children. The second boy of the family was named after him and also became an artist. The work of father and son is mainly topographical - mostly landscapes and seascapes. If you do think of buying an original, you should know that distinguishing between the works of father and son is quite difficult, their difference lying in the intensity of their colours, the son using far brighter colour than did his father.
If you collect or have seen any of Raphael Tuck's coloured postcards in the Picturesque Devon series, you will have seen the work of the son, these cards being very popular with holidaymakers looking for an inexpensive souvenir.
The picture above comes from a set of 6 and is called Dittisham on the Dart. The names of the others in this set are
Dartmouth from Kingswear
Dittisham Church on the River dart
Greenaway Ferry on the River Dart
Old Mill Walk
Totnes from the landing stage
Post card Fairs are fascinating places. Not only are the paintings ones fascinating, but so are the messages on the other side! Not to mention the stamps which have a history of their own and in the list above we have souvenirs of the steamer trip from Dartmouth to Totnes which still runs regularly in the summer months.
If you take the river trip when you come to see us, you will pass this cottage. The tenants have long gone but Jenkins has faithfully depicted their lives in his picture. These were fisher folk and two members of the family are just setting out for some rod and line fishing while other members of the family prepare the lobster pot for its next appearance. Most important though are the seine nets currently hanging out to dry but soon to be dragged into the river by a family group and used to catch salmon and other large fish which have found their way up from the sea at Dartmouth.