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FROM GILPIN TO TURNER: CHAOS IN PARADISE
An Exhibition of Watercolours drawn from the Collections of the Whitworth Gallery. TURNER PAINTINGS ONCE MORE GRACE WALLS OF RUSKIN’S HOME. From 5 June 2010 the paintings of one of Britain’s greatest painters, J M W Turner, will be on show in the Lake District home of John Ruskin. Watercolours by Turner have not graced the walls at Brantwood since Ruskin’s own Turners were sold shortly after Ruskin’s death in 1900. The exhibition, which marks the 150th Anniversary of Ruskin’s great work on landscape art, Modern Painters, explores Turner’s work against the wider phenomenon of English landscape painting and plots its relevance to contemporary environmental issues. In the course of just over one hundred years English painters gave birth to a tradition of landscape painting to which they brought an extraordinary degree of intensity. In so doing, they created a notion of landscape beauty which still endures in the public mind today. But they also witnessed the destruction of their own dream by factors which were symptomatic of ills that now threaten to consume us. Their story was written into prophecy by Ruskin in brilliant and impassioned prose. Ruskin’s warnings were lost to sight for much of the century just past, but have come back to haunt us. Chaos in Paradise charts, in a series of works selected from the 18th & 19th Century collections of the Whitworth Gallery, the phenomenon of landscape art which led Ruskin to some of the most incendiary thinking of all time on art and the environment.
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