Sunday, 7 February 2010

Why John Crome was a Wherryman's Way fan

THE CASTLE Museum in Norwich is packing them in with its new exhibition on "Water Colour in Britain". As you'd expect there's a lot of good stuff - everything from JMW Turner to Anish Kapoor, Graham Sutherland and my favourite John Piper. But before you head for the Castle caff, make sure you pay homage to the galleries either side - those housing the works of the Norwich School of Artists.
Its two leading lights were John Sell Cotman and John Crome. Together, at the beginning of the 19th century, they helped form a school which would last three generations. Its significance, says the Norwich Museum blurb, lies in "a realism based on direct observation".
Yes, yes, but what's this got to do with the Wherryman's Way? Well the extraordinary thing is that people like Cotman and Crome - together with others like Joseph Stannard and George Vincent - delighted in painting WW scenes. They painted the Wensum, they loved Trowse Meadows. Postwick, Whitlingham, Thorpe, Brundall and Great Yarmouth are all beautifully captured. Stepping into these galleries is to see some of the greatest painters of their day immortalising scenes that are still partially recognisable to us today.
* For more on the Norwich School of Artists see the Literary Norfolk website. This picture shows The Yare at Thorpe by John Crome.
* The Watercolour exhibition at the Castle Museum runs until April 18th, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment