The role of trees in landscape painting, c. 1760-1870
The exhibition at the Higgins Bedford is nearly installed now, ready for the private view this Thursday (it opens to the public on September 30th). My co-curator Victoria Partridge had the brilliant idea of using dark brown walls and internal free-standing walls to make visitors feel that they are actually walking through a shady wood. The display really shows off the beautiful wooden floor and benches, too.
From c. 2010-2017, I was engaged in research for a book on trees in British art, asking questions, such as: how does the interest in trees develop, how do ideas change over the 18th and 19th centuries? I looked at drawing manuals, illustrated books on trees, oil paintings, watercolours and prints, landscape gardening, poetry, artists' writings. The artists I found most important and/or interesting included the following: Paul Sandby, Thomas Hearne, John Constable, Samuel Palmer, James Ward, John Martin, Edward Lear, Francis Danby, Jacob George Strutt and Henry William Burgess.