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The Brighton Revealed Exhibition

By Steve Myall

 The Brighton Revealed Exhibition:

I remember the brilliant ‘Brighton Revealed Through Artists’ Eyes – 1760-1960’ exhibition, at the Art Gallery and Museum in 1995. As I looked through the catalogue over the following weeks I began to realise the extraordinary pull that Brighton & Hove had over the artists of two centuries. Looking through the Index of Artists, 89 were included, and of these so many are of international importance. From the C18 th and C19th there was Turner and Constable, Thomas Rowlandson, Augustus Pugin, the lovely landscape artist James Lambert, and the talented watercolourist and engraver William Westall.  Edward Dayes is represented, who was drawing master to Thomas Girtin and who influenced the young Turner.  Still in the C19th there were two watercolours by Frederick Nash, with the catalogue quote ‘His skill as an architectural painter led Turner to consider him unsurpassed in his day’.  Into the C20th the artists who came to depict Brighton included Vanessa Bell, Spencer Gore, John Piper, Walter Sickert,  Jacques-Emile Blanche who was an important link between English art and the French Impressionists, and Ruskin Spear. Apart from these, many lesser known but very talented artists were part of this impressive show.

The exhibition begs the question - is there any other city in the UK, outside the capital, that could display this number of famous eighteenth and nineteenth artists who came to paint her?

This page was added on 28/02/2012
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