Sir Elton John has lent eleven Henry Scott Tuke paintings for a major exhibition of the artist's work that is taking place at two venues in Cornwall from May 3.

The multiple Grammy-winning and legendary superstar has been an avid collector of Tuke's works since the mid 1980s. As a result many of Tuke's most important pieces - like Midsummer Morning - have remained in the UK and, thanks to the loan, will be put on public display for the first time.

The exhibition, which is taking place in both The Royal Cornwall Museum and Falmouth Art Gallery, is being staged to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tuke's birth. The artist lived in Falmouth from 1885 until his death in 1929 at Pennance Cottage in Swanpool. He is buried in Falmouth cemetery.

More than 130 works will be exhibited in Catching the Light' which is being funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and Bonhams. In addition to Sir Elton, The Royal Academy, the Tate and the National Portrait Gallery are all lending a range of exhibits including oils, watercolours, etchings, sketchbooks, letters, photographs and other archive material.

Falmouth Art Gallery will open their exhibition of Tuke's Sunshine Paintings' on 3 May and the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro will launch its retrospective of the artist's work on 10 May. The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society will also be exhibiting its collection of Tuke's recently restored watercolours in a separate exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum from 7 June.

"We are enormously grateful to Sir Elton John for lending us eleven of Henry Scott Tuke's paintings from his private collection,' said RCM director Hilary Bracegirdle. Tuke was a major British artist and Catching the Light', which is being curated by local author and art expert Catherine Wallace, is the biggest and most important exhibition of his work ever to have been staged.

"hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this opportunity to see it and to appreciate the extraordinary talent of someone who derived so much inspiration from Cornwall."

Sir Elton John's paintings are also being reproduced in a book that Catherine Wallace has written to accompany the exhibition. Entitled Catching the Light: The Art and Life of Henry Scott Tuke' and published by Atelier Books, it is available from Falmouth Art Gallery and Truro Bookshop from May 2.

Guided tours, illustrated lectures, walks around the places that Tuke painted and family-focused workshops are among the many activities being organised to accompany the Catching the Light' exhibition.