European Tour, an artists view.

European Tours.

A previous blog referenced the ‘Grand Tour’ to Italy in the eighteenth century which led me to reflect that the Cheltenham collection holds quite a variety of paintings of depictions of European countries visited by British artists. The subject matter quickly turned from portraiture and places like Venice or Rome  to a wider view of the delights offered by European countries.                                                                                                                          So let’s explore!                                                                                                              What is clear is that relevant works in the Cheltenham collection span the generations from the Grand Tour places of the eighteenth century right through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – but to put them in context I draft in significant examples from other public galleries. In terms of the ‘Grand Tour’ subjects there are the following examples at Cheltenham :-

Guardi, Francesco; The Island of San Giorgio in Alga, Venice, Italy; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-island-of-san-giorgio-in-alga-venice-italy-61819

Guardi, Francesco; The Island of San Giorgio in Alga, Venice, Italy; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

 

Guardi, Francesco; The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy, Looking towards Santa Maria degli Scalzi and Santa Lucia; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-grand-canal-venice-italy-looking-towards-santa-maria-degli-scalzi-and-santa-lucia-61820

Guardi, Francesco; The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy, Looking towards Santa Maria degli Scalzi and Santa Lucia; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

 

Tironi, Francesco; Venice, Italy (The Grand Canal from the Campo San Vio towards the Bacino); Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/venice-italy-the-grand-canal-from-the-campo-san-vio-towards-the-bacino-62071

Tironi, Francesco; Venice, Italy (The Grand Canal from the Campo San Vio towards the Bacino); Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum.                                                                                                                                In terms of the most well-known Grand Tour Venetian artist, Canaletto, I choose some typical examples from other galleries :-

Canaletto; The Piazza di San Marco, Venice; Sir John Soane's Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-piazza-di-san-marco-venice-123954

Canaletto; The Piazza di San Marco, Venice; Sir John Soane’s Museum.

These Venetian based artists were operating mainly in the mid to later eighteenth century – but whilst British tourists went mainly to places like Venice there were British artists who explored other areas of Italy and ventured to, or rested in, other European countries.

Wilson, Richard; Italian Lake Scene; Bradford Museums and Galleries; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/italian-lake-scene-23637

Wilson, Richard; Italian Lake Scene; Bradford Museums and Galleries

 

Jones, Thomas; Rooftops in Naples; The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/rooftops-in-naples-142210

Jones, Thomas; Rooftops in Naples; The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

By the nineteenth century the scene began to change. The founder, in 1899,  of Cheltenham Art Gallery, Baron de Ferrieres with his important bequest of nearly fifty paintings, including important examples of  seventeenth century Dutch work, also reflected a change of direction in collecting to embrace contemporary paintings of the Low Countries. Unfamiliar names and places appear – examples being :-

Koster, Everhardus; Ruins over the River Birchel at Zutphen, The Netherlands; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/ruins-over-the-river-birchel-at-zutphen-the-netherlands-61884

Koster, Everhardus; Ruins over the River Birchel at Zutphen, The Netherlands; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum.

Springer, Cornelis; Fortified Buildings on the Banks of a Canal; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/fortified-buildings-on-the-banks-of-a-canal-62048

Springer, Cornelis; Fortified Buildings on the Banks of a Canal; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum;

Bodemann, Willem; Wooded Landscape; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/wooded-landscape-61669

Bodemann, Willem; Wooded Landscape; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum.

Yet Italy retained its charm for artists well into the twentieth century – and the Cheltenham collections reflect this interest.

 

Fisher, Janet C.; Rainbow over Assisi, Italy; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/rainbow-over-assisi-italy-61785

Fisher, Janet C.; Rainbow over Assisi, Italy; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum.

 

Bell, Arthur; Portico dei Comuni, Siena, Italy; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/portico-dei-comuni-siena-italy-61655

Bell, Arthur; Portico dei Comuni, Siena, Italy; Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

You might enjoy browsing Italian landscape and townscape on the ArtUK website – not just the Wilson (Cheltenham’s Art Gallery) but other galleries in this country.

 

 

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