Sydney Lough Thompson ( - )

Sydney Lough Thompson

He was born in Oxford, New Zealand, and if it had not been for Petrus Van der Velden, a German painter who ended his career in New Zealand, the young Thompson would have become a sheep farmer like his father. In 1895, urged on by his father, he enrolled as a student at Canterbury College School of Art in Christchurch. This emancipation enabled Thompson to leave for London in 1900, then for Paris in 1901 and finally to discover Concarneau in 1902, a town for which he fell in love.

On his return home, he became a teacher at his old art school from 1906 to 1910. Then Thompson married Maude Ethel Coe on 23 March 1911, and decided to take her to her second adopted city: Concarneau. Mrs. Thompson must have liked the town because they stayed there until 1923. It was there that their three children were born. He became one of the jewels of the "Concarneau group". Even though they returned home, the Thompsons came back regularly to Concarneau where Sydney died in 1973.

Light and colour are the food of his art. His life as a painter was thus divided half between his native country and France. Through the quality of his vision and the beautiful harmony of his palette, Thompson captured the people of the sailors he knew in the great era of sail fishing, sardine and tuna boats. This painter is today much sought after in his country.

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