Completed British 20th C, except portraits, South East England: Artists and Subjects, South West England: Artists and Subjects 12 Could anyone identify the coastal location in this painting by Gunning King?

Topic: Subject or sitter

Corfe is not on the coast, but this could well be a painting of the Dorset coast on the Isle of Purbeck. This might be the mouth of Lulworth Cove, an unusual view at beach level looking East across the narrow entrance. The Cove is not far from Corfe. [Group leader: Sheena Stoddard]

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The title has been updated from ‘Corfe’ to ‘Lulworth Cove’ and the previous title recorded in the description.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


Alan Waltham,

I think that this is definitely Lulworth Cove as suggested by Martin Hopkinson above. I have attached a screen-grab from Street View which shows a good approximation of the artist's view, albeit not quite from beach level.

1 attachment

Lulworth Cove does seem to be the location, thank you all.

I am wary of changing the title until I've found the accession details as the work was given to us by Gunning King. Perhaps Corfe (The Mouth of Lulworth Cove, Dorset) for the time being.

Malcolm Fowles,

Would Brightonians appreciate a title of "Shoreham-by-Sea (Brighton Pier)"? It is analogous to the suggestion of Corfe (... Lulworth ...) except that Shoreham is closer!

Corfe may be the artist's memory of where he lodged, and a failed memory of the painting location. The collection also has "Corfe Castle, Dorset" and "Kimmeridge, Dorset", likely from the same journey. The latter is dated 1936.

I agree with Malcolm that it makes no sense to have Corfe and Lulworth (two completely different places) in the title, but we should note in our description that it was once mistakenly known as Corfe.

I do understand the distance between Corfe and Lulworth (and it does seem nonsensical to link the two) but I also want to respect the artist's intentions. He might have had an unfathomable reason for the title, been mistaken as suggested, or perhaps it was imposed upon the painting by other hands. This could become clearer with research.

To avoid confusion though I would be happy in the meantime for the title to change to Lulworth Cove, Dorset, with a note 'formerly known as 'Corfe'.

Thank you for solving this so quickly and to Brighton Museums for the quick and helpful response.

Sheena, many thanks for responding while you're on holiday. I'm sorry to hear that you have Covid and I hope you get well soon.