Early British Watercolours

This exhibition is now closed

When the English showed a section of 114 watercolours at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855, the French critic Edmond About wrote 'I can pass without transition from oil to watercolour painting; these two genres are less distinct in England than with us. More than one English painting presents the paleness and the faded grace of the watercolour; more than one watercolour has the vigour of an oil painting. Watercolour is, for the English, a national art'. Certainly the technique of watercolour painting was more widely adopted by artists of the first importance in England by that time than was the case with their peers on the continent. This exhibition, the first of two watercolour collections from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery which we intend to show, surveys that great period of English watercolour painting; from the late eighteenth century through the nineteenth century. It also bears striking testimony to the depth of the Dunedin collection in this important area.

('English Watercolours', Bulletin, No.2, January/February 1979, p.2)

Exhibition number 209