The North Coast, West Penwith, Cornwall
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting

Rosemary Ziar

English ( b.1919 - d.2003 )

The North Coast, West Penwith, Cornwall

  • Watercolour
  • Monogram lower right

Image size 15 inches x 19.1 inches ( 38cm x 48.5cm )
Frame size 25.8 inches x 29.3 inches ( 65.5cm x 74.5cm )


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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art in the English county of Dorset, this original painting by the Cornish artist Rosemary Ziar dates from the 1970s.
The watercolour is presented and supplied in a sympathetic contemporary replacement frame (which is shown in these photographs) but retaining the original white and aubergine mounts. A new conservation quality backboard has been used and the artwork is behind new non-reflective Artglass AR 70™glass.
This vintage painting is in very good condition, commensurate with its age. The painting wants for nothing and is ready to hang.
The watercolour is signed with her monogram lower right.

Elizabeth Rosemary Ziar was an accomplished English artist, born in St. Ives, Cornwall in 1919. She was known as ‘Ro’ to early friends, and Rosemary thereafter. Her mother had artistic ability and young Rosemary seems to have inherited this, excelling at art from a young age, winning national prizes for her illustrations and design whilst still at school.

Rosemary’s family moved to Penzance during her childhood and in 1937 she enrolled at the Penzance School of Art, where she was encouraged by its director, James Lias, to pursue her talent for painting in watercolour. When World War II interrupted her studies she joined the Land Army, working first at Rinsey and then at Perranuthoe. It was tough work but in the atmosphere of the west Penwith landscape she felt an affinity with the spirit of her forebears and the mysteries of Celtic pre-history; indeed throughout her working life she remained faithful to the spirit of West Cornwall. After the war she resumed her studies at the Penzance School of Art, then completed her art education under Leonard Fuller at the St. Ives School of Painting. Around this time, she began to regularly show her work with the Newlyn Society of Artists, although she was too much of an individual to identify with the mainstream, describing herself as a ‘loner’.

At 27 she married Ian Ziar, who had been interned as a prison-of-war in Italy, following capture during Rommel’s campaign in North Africa. In 1949 their son Perran was born. Ian was a dentist and he established a practice as St Ives, although the family made their home in Penzance.

Rosemary set up a studio in her home and would drive around West Cornwall producing pencil sketches, which she worked into completed watercolour paintings back in her studio. Her work became increasingly experimental, with her bold style and vibrant use of colour. Rosemary and her husband also enjoyed travelling around Europe and she felt very much at home in Brittany in particular because of its Celtic connections. In 1972 one of her paintings was accepted at the Paris Salon, and thereafter her work was often shown in Italy and France. She won the Diplome D’Honneur at the Biarritz International Salon and the Coupe d’Antibes at the international exposition of paintings and sculpture in Juan-les-Pins. After that her work was purchased by collectors from all over the world. Rosemary became a member of Société des Artistes Français, and her regular solo exhibitions toured both the south and west of England and northern France.

Over the years Rosemary collected the reminiscences of her aunt Mabel Trembath and produced a book entitled ‘Good Morrow Brother’, which was a collection of folk stories capturing the flavour of life in West Cornwall a century earlier. Rosemary provided the ink drawing illustrations and coloured classical compositions for the book, which is dedicated to her three grandsons.

Rosemary was widowed in 2000, after a long and happy marriage. When she died in 2003 an obituary in the Times described her paintings as ‘elegant and entertaining…brushed by black as well as white magic.’

© Big Sky Fine Art

This original watercolour painting by Rosemary Elizabeth Ziar depicts the north coast of West Penwith in Cornwall in a bold impressionist style. The edge of the coast rolls up the left side of the painting, with the sea to the right, and we look along the shoreline and over a headland into the wilderness of ocean beyond. The hills are delineated in soft curves and coloured shades of ochre, maroon, tan and sand. The restless waves are tipped the colour of ink and details in the distance are similarly marked. This is a painting that gives a room an impression of warmth, energy and movement; it is very pleasing on the eye and a real feature.