The artist suffered a shooting accident in his youth, meaning he had to learn to paint with his left hand and was exempt from active service in the First World War.
He still managed to establish himself as an artist and a teacher, however. Canadian artist Emily Carr was probably his best-known pupil.
Talmage’s work appears at auction fairly often. Typically he depicted views of the Cornish coast or idyllic scenes with languid figures or horses.
A work that recently emerged at Hampshire saleroom Andrew Smith & Son (21% buyer’s premium) was rather different.
The Bass Fisher depicted a woman sitting on the rocks fishing with her creel beside her. The subject, colours and composition made it stand out from the majority of his known output and it was arguably more serene, striking and composed. It was also significantly larger than most and had a good date.
The 2ft 11in x 3ft 10in (88cm x 1.16m) signed oil on canvas was dated 1917 and, by repute, it had one of the artist’s Royal Academy exhibits. It came to auction from a local Hampshire vendor, having been in the same family since at least the 1960s.
Against a £2000-3000 estimate at the sale on December 15-16, it attracted strong interest not only from the UK but also overseas. It was knocked down at £13,500 to a collector in New York.
The only higher price at auction recorded for the artist is the $22,500 (£17,060) for Seaside View from 1922, another large work but more in keeping with his brighter style.