Tuke was born in York in 1858 to Quaker parents and moved with them to London in 1874.
He was educated at the Slade School of Art.
Tuke's paintings typically celebrate male beauty, young men who swim, dive, and lounge on
a boat or on the beach as well as the artist's lifelong love of the sea, swimming, and sailing.
Tuke settled in a Cornish town near Falmouth Bay in 1885.
He worked outside the mainstream of his contemporaries. During a time when smooth,
concealed brushstrokes were in vogue, Tuke favored rough, visible brushstrokes.
He excelled at combining this type of brushstroke with color to produce unusual lighting
effects that stall the viewer's eye on the nude male body.
Although Tuke is best known today for his gently homoerotic paintings, in his own time
he was also well known as a portraitist
After a long illness, Tuke died at Falmouth in 1929