Young French artist at Newhaven in the 1950's

By Derek Longly

In the 1950's it was the practice for some English families whose children attended Lewes Grammar School to send them on an exchange arrangement to live with a French family during the summer holidays and I was lucky enough to take part in such an exchange when sent to Paris to stay with a family there.

The exchange came when the son of the French family, Alain de Jenlis, arrived in England to stay with us.  He was a talented youngster who went on to become a highly respected graphic artist in later life much sought after by private individuals and companies, both in the French capital and elsewhere, to undertake commissions for them.

Whilst he was staying with us I took him to Newhaven on one or two occasions where he was impressed with the harbour and produced the naive pencil sketch depicted, which shows one of the 'screws' and what appears to be the Lisieux at the quayside. As an example of his later work there is also a delicate water colour of St Malo done by him - at which port the Falaise was once a familiar sight before she was converted to run as a car ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe.

Photo:Newhaven harbour by Alain de Jenlis

Newhaven harbour by Alain de Jenlis

Derek Longly

Photo:St Malo by Alain de Jenlis

St Malo by Alain de Jenlis

Derek Longly

This page was added by Derek Longly on 09/12/2011.
Comments about this page

In the 1950's I was the young French boy who crossed the Channel and discovered the history of the harbour and the history of English painting at the Library in Seaford. Thank you dear Derek for your articles which I enjoy very much.

By Alain de Jenlis
On 08/02/2012

Eric Ravilious is the best-known artist associated with Newhaven; he lived in Newhaven during the 1930s, I think, and lodged with Dr Neill. He is famous for his woodcuts, one of which adorns the cover of "Wisden". The breakwater is the subject of one of his lithographs.

By Lionel Warnes
On 20/12/2012

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