Signed chalk and watercolour 17 x 24.5 cms;6 3/4 x 9 3/4 ins.

PROVENANCE The Stone Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne see Label Verso.

The Pit Road at Dawn is one of Norman Cornish's most iconic images. He made this journey almost every day for over 30 years from his front door in Bishop's Close Street, Spennymoor to Dean and Chapter Colliery three miles away at Ferryhill. At the end of a shift underground the return journey was made in all weathers and at different times of the night and day. As such it is not surprising that there are so many variations of this scene.

Norman Cornish, born in 1919, began his working life at the Dean and Chapter Colliery at the age of fourteen. At sixteen he joined the Spennymoor Sketching Club which he thought was wonderful, and with his tutor Bill Farrells advice, that he could do no better than paint the life he knew, he embarked on the subject that would preoccupy him for the next seven decades. His narrow World as the novelist Sid Chaplin (and fellow miner) wrote in an article in 1960. By the age of 47, after 33 years working in the County Durham coalfields he took the great risk of living by his painting. That it was a successful move is irrefutable. He has been the subject of countless TV documentaries, has his work in many public and private collections, has received and carried out several commissions including the mural for the Durham Miners Gala, has published his autobiography 'A Slice of Life' and continued to paint and exhibit till his death in 2014.


Pit Road at Dawn

Norman Cornish (1919-2014)