It is a long time since we produced an exhibition dedicated to the ‘golden age’ of British landscape painting; this, in part, reflects the shifting focus of our interests, but also the broader concerns of the discipline.
We no longer chart British art of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century in the steady evolution of watercolour from tinted drawing to the emergence of dedicated exhibiting societies. Stepping back affords many opportunities to rethink the material. This small show includes works by familiar names: Alexander Cozens, Richard Wilson, Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner, Peter De Wint and John Linnell, but they are all examples that we have chosen because they offer a slightly different perspective on the world they capture. There are also works by names that would not normally be included in a traditional British landscape show, including Gustave Doré, who spent protracted periods in London during the 1860s and who adopted the very British medium of watercolour to capture the landscape of Scotland.