Kenneth Yockney (1881-1965)
Point, Old Portsmouth, looking south
watercolour heightened with bodycolour
Framed and glazed
Overall size including frame: 88.8 x 63.8 cm
A striking image from the late 1950s. The centre is dominated by the Still & West Country House adjacent to Bath Square. The old Portsmouth to Gosport floating bridge ceased operating around this time but the chains are still evident (bottom left). Part of Fort Blockhouse (HMS Dolphin submarine base) in Gosport is shown bottom left.
Kenneth Yockney was born in Port Royal, Jamaica in 1881 and was the son of Algernon Yockney (1843-1912), Fleet Paymaster of the Royal Navy and a talented painter himself. His mother was Mildred Morris Alington (1857-1955), daughter of Richard Pye Alington (1809-1884), the Rector of Swinhope, Lincs. She was also the cousin of Admiral Arthur Hildebrand Alington (1839-1925).
Kenneth was raised at the family home on the Isle of Wight at Woodcliff in the village of St Lawrence, and later studied art at the Slade School in London. He returned to live on the island and later settled in Ryde, though little is known about his early life. He would paint and record many ships, of all sizes, in the surrounding waters and is particularly known for expansive views of Portsmouth Harbour painted in the 1950s and early 1960s. Yockney avoided any publicity and never signed his work, selling his paintings locally and also through the Portsmouth art dealer Percy Beer. He died at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport in 1965 aged 83.