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Gainsborough in London

14th April 2021 6.00-7.00pm

To order a copy of this  new book ‘Gainsborough in London’ By Dr Susan Sloman.  

 Contact the Kew Bookshop – Hewson Books  via Email:  Phone:  020 8876 1717.  www.hewsonbooks.co.uk

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Gainsborough engravings in the Tate ‘cannot have been produced by the artist

Scholar Dr Susan Sloman has reattributed three wooded landscapes dating from the 1780s to the hand of artist’s nephew Gainsborough Dupont

The Tate and the British Museum are among institutions worldwide that boast landscape prints by Thomas Gainsborough, the great 18th-century British master. Three of those prints should no longer be attributed to him, according to new research.

Dr Susan Sloman, a Gainsborough scholar, has reattributed three wooded landscapes dating from the 1780s to the hand of Gainsborough’s nephew and sole studio assistant, Gainsborough Dupont. 

Catalogue descriptions for prints such as a “Wooded Landscape with Country Cart” will have to be changed by museums and galleries as they are not by Thomas Gainsborough, she has concluded, partly from crucial stylistic evidence. Gainsborough was right-handed and the predominant angle of his shading lines is from lower left to upper right.

Dr Susan Sloman

As an original print is a mirror image of the original plate, he would deliberately reverse the direction of those lines on to the plate so that he could make accurate imitations of his drawings.

She said: “‘Wooded Landscape with Country Cart’ and ‘Wooded River Landscape’ both have shading that is not reversed.”She explained that these prints were never produced in any large quantity, but there are impressions in quite a lot of collections throughout the world. With variable descriptive titles, they are found in museums and galleries as far afield as New York, Amsterdam and Berlin.

The original copper plates from which all three prints were made are in the Tate.The problem, Dr Sloman has also discovered, lies in that two of them – “Wooded River Landscape” and “Wooded Upland Landscape with Riders and Packhorses” – bear the stamp of  “Jones & Pontifex”, whose plate-making business only began operating after Gainsborough died.

She had happened to read Mei-Ying Sung’s 2009 study, William Blake and the Art of Engraving, which provides detailed information about plate-makers, including the fact that the partnership of Jones and Pontifex traded between 1789 and 1793: “Gainsborough died in 1788, so those plates date from after his death.”

The ‘Wooded Upland Landscape’ is technically different and does not have linear shading, but it is a Jones and Pontifex plate.”

She said: “Gainsborough’s landscape prints were not published in his lifetime, but his widow collaborated with publisher John Boydell to publish a set of 12 in 1797, seven months after Dupont’s death. “The advertisement for these prints states that the plates have never been out of the possession of Gainsborough’s family, and this was evidently true. By then, Dupont, the one person with inside knowledge of the studio, was no longer there to identify which plates were his uncle’s and which were his.” 

Dr Sloman is not criticising any institution for assuming that these prints were by Gainsborough: “It’s not that anybody made a mistake. It’s not that anybody has tried to deceive anybody. It’s something that happened in the 1790s.

Nor is she criticising the late John Hayes, the eminent Gainsborough scholar and a former director of the National Portrait Gallery, who had included the three prints in his 1971 study, “Gainsborough As Printmaker”, which has never been revised.

She said: “Hayes was a pioneer…He did an enormous amount, cataloguing the drawings, prints and landscape paintings. What he did was extraordinary and of course he didn’t have the internet. It’s simply that time has elapsed, and new information has become available.”

Gainsborough’s landscapes were typically imaginary, artificially constructed. He is known to have arranged mosses, lichens and broccoli on a table, to recreate vegetation.

Dr Sloman acknowledged that the three compositions do resemble Gainsborough’s style, but she said: “Dupont worked in the studio and therefore everything he did looks like Gainsborough because his job was to imitate.”

The Tate, which has the “Wooded Landscape with Country Cart” and the “Wooded River Landscape” in its collection, said: “We always welcome new scholarship on items in our collection and very much look forward to hearing from Dr Sloman about this.

The British Museum, which has the “Wooded River Landscape” in its collection, said: “We are grateful for any feedback on the collection. There are half a million records for Prints and Drawings accessible online and we welcome any suggestions, improvements or questions regarding previous scholarship. We will certainly look into Dr Sloman’s research and consider amendments.”

Dr Sloman, joint author of the catalogue for the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition, Gainsborough’s Family Album, will include her new research in her forthcoming book, Gainsborough in London, to be published by Modern Art Press on 9 March. 

Her book focusses on Gainsborough’s years in London – from 1774 to 1788 – which marked the pinnacle of his career. It was during those years that he became a favourite painter of George III and a founding member of the Royal Academy, though he later quarrelled with it over their hanging of his pictures.

Article by By Dalya Alberge 6 February 2021 in the Daily Telegraph includes illustrations

THE GEORGIAN VISITOR

‘A Vignette of Garden Visiting in the Eighteenth Century ‘

Summary of The Friends of St Anne’s Virtual Zoom Webinar Lecture 

TUESDAY  9th MARCH 2021

By RICHARD WHEELER 

THE FORMER NATIONAL SPECIALIST IN GARDEN HISTORY FOR THE NATIONAL TRUST

We were delighted to finally welcome Richard to give his wonderful lecture in March 2021 by Zoom Webinar. He was originally booked live in March 2020 just after the first lockdown started but that had to be cancelled. 

Richard was with the  National Trust for 43 years leading many major garden restorations, including Erddig and Chirk in North Wales, Stowe, Chastleton and West Wycombe, in England and Castle Ward in Northern Ireland. 

Richard’s knowledge and historical references are extraordinary, introducing us into how garden visiting started; how the beautiful catalogues began and created by Head Gardeners anxious to welcome visitors. Seeing the travelling routes to reach them and the local places for their lodgings that were created was fascinating! It certainly gave us all a taster to go garden visiting for ourselves when we can finally get and about once the lockdown is lifted. Richard used beautiful picture prints and images to demonstrate views of the wonderful gardens and routes out of London to reach such places as Stowe. 

  • A special thanks to Uta Thompson – a friend of Richard & his Wife who kindly introduced Richard to us. 

We welcomed around 100 people including those that watched it via the YouTube recording available for a week after the actual lecture.

Among those that we welcomed were: Buckinghamshire Garden Trust; Kew Horticultural Society; Chiswick Allotment Society; Kew Society Gardening Department; Kew Gardens Volunteers & Staff; Thames Luminaries; Turners House Trust; Kew WI; The Friends of St Anne’s Church; The Arts Society of Richmond and many others.

Several people put interesting questions to Richard via the Q&A and Chat button. 

We received positive feedback following the lecture – a few examples: 

  • ‘Just a quick note to say that I thought that the Garden Visiting talk was superb; witty, scholarly, polished and an engaging subject. What more can one ask? Thank you!’
  • ‘Just to say how much we enjoyed the. Webinar on Tuesday. 
    Thank you’ 

Richard is now running his own garden history consultancy, advising on practical garden restoration, and in running informal tutorials for the gardeners and garden restorers of the future. He lectures and writes regularly on the history and iconology of gardens, and their understanding and restoration. We wish him all success with his consultancy, I am sure he will be much in demand. 

Lorraine Neale –Chairman The Friends of St Anne’s –  March 2021

THE ART OF INNOVATION

The Friends of St Anne’s Presents via ZOOM Webinar

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You can buy this wonderful book through Kew Bookshop – It’s featured on the front page of their website with a link to buy through click and collect. ‘

See link here https://www.hewsonbooks.co.uk/

All Members will receive the link for joining by email

Non-Members are welcome. They may receive joining instructions from an existing member, or on request from 

There is no charge for joining but a voluntary donation of £10 would be appreciated.

Donations can be made via the DONATE button on The Friends website 

For further information go to www.friendsofstanneskew.org.uk/eventsevents

Registered Charity No: 1085389 

THE ART OF INNOVATION

‘From Enlightenment to Dark Matter 

A Summary of The Friends of St Anne’s Virtual Zoom Webinar Lecture 

TUESDAY 9th FEBRUARY 2021

BY Dr TILLY BLYTH  – Head of Collections & Principal Curator of the Science Museum.

Dr Tilly Blyth discussed the Book published in 2020 she has written with Sir Ian Blandford Director of the Science Museum.

We were delighted to finally welcome Dr Tilly  to give her wonderful lecture in February 2021 by Zoom Webinar. She  was originally booked to give her lecture live in June 2020, but of course we had to postpone it.  We were so delighted to reschedule her recently! 

Based on The Art of Innovation: from Enlightenment to Dark Matter, a landmark Science Museum and BBC Radio 4 series, book and exhibition, Dr Tilly discussed the connections between science and art over the last 250 years, showing how science, just as much as art, informs and creates our culture

At the Museum Tilly is responsible for the museum’s Curatorial, Research, Library and Archives departments. Most recently the team opened the £24 million Medicine: the Wellcome Galleries, transforming the first floor of the Science Museum and displaying over 3,000 objects from the world’s largest medical collection.

The team have also delivered award winning galleries and exhibitions on subjects as diverse as Top Secret: the history of GCHQMathematics, Robots, Cosmonauts: the Russian Space story and Illuminating India: 500 years of science and technology. Tilly was also Lead Curator of the Information Age gallery, which explored 200 years of information and communication networks and how they have transformed the world. 

  • A special thanks to Sylvia Chitty – an Aunt to Dr Tilly and her husband who kindly introduced Dr Tilly to us

We welcomed around 114 people including those that watched via the YouTube recording available for a week after the actual lecture.

Several people put interesting questions to Dr Tilly via the Q&A and Chat button. 

We also received wonderful feedback from the audience   – A few examples as follows 

  • ‘I enjoyed Tilly’s talk very much – she is a very engaging speaker & her passion for her subject really brought it alive’.
  • ‘Splendid lecture this evening – best sort of mix of information and pleasurable listening’

Dr Tilly gave us a superb insight into the extraordinary world of the links between science and art – many of us will be looking at clouds and master’s paintings with a more inquisitive eye –  I am sure it sems so obvious when she  explained and showed us examples, but we still need her amazing expertise to understand it with meaning. 

And ……From comments received from the evening it was clear that many of the audience cannot wait to get to the Science Museum – specially to see the new Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries. We all hope its soon for Dr Tilly and her  colleagues – it must be so frustrating to be closed when they have put so much research, time, and effort into staging them.  

Lorraine Neale – Chairman the Friends of St Anne’s Church – February 2021 

‘TURNER, ROMANTICISM & THE MODERN WORLD’

By Dr DAVID BELLINGHAM

TUESDAY  17th NOVEMBER  2020 –  6.00pm to 7.00pm

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‘TURNER, ROMANTICISM & THE MODERN WORLD’ By Dr  DAVID BELLINGHAM – who will  introduce the forthcoming exhibition at TATE BRITAIN ( 28 October to 7 March)

David is an art historian, author, and Programme Director for the master’s degree in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London


Report on ‘TURNER, ROMANTICISM & THE MODERN WORLD’

Report on The Friends of St Anne’s Virtual Zoom Webinar Talk 

TUESDAY 17TH NOVEMBER 2020 

By Dr DAVID BELLINGHAM  

We were delighted to welcome Dr David Bellingham – David is an art historian, author, and Programme Director for the master’s degree in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. David has given three or so Lectures over the past 3 or 4 years – then of course live! Always attracting an excellent audience although St Anne’s parish hall can only hold 80 people maximum and we far exceeded that double in fact of 166 plus! Just shows some advantages of technology now in our ‘new normal’! 

When David and I discussed the lecture back in October he was planning  to introduce the exhibition at TATE BRITAIN  on Turner scheduled   to open on 28th October 2020  until 7th March 2021 which it did –  but sadly had to close a week later due to the second lockdown. 

However, that did not deter David having managed to view the exhibition in that short week it was open. This enabled him to deliver the most inspiring, captivating and so professionally researched lecture. 

From very enthusiastic comments we  received, the audience found it so  well presented informing us of many things we had no idea about Turner leaving many of us wanting to  see the movie ‘Mr Turner’ with Timothy Spall again. With David talking us through the layout of the Tate Britain Exhibition and how each room has been created, the theme of each room and so fascinating what other artists who  either  influenced Turner or had been influenced by Turner related about him. Fascinatingly many of his paintings had been compared to the Impressionists well before they came onto the market. (See note at end of report )

 I am sure many members of our audience will flock to the Exhibition when it can finally open again being so well informed. David brought everything so alive for us and seeing the local places where Turner was born and lived namely Brentford, Isleworth, Twickenham, and Syon Park -so familiar to those of us living around there. David is such an excellent and accomplished speaker – his students are extremely lucky to be taught by him.  

Further background to the Lecture 

Joseph Mallard William Turner (1775–1851) was born during the first generation of the Industrial Revolution and lived through the cultural periods of Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, and the Greek Revival.  He was very much a Londoner, being christened in St Paul’s, Covent Garden, dying in Cheyne Walk and buried in St Paul’s Cathedral.  He was also a great traveller, wandering in search of romantic subjects throughout England, Wales and Scotland and the continent as far afield as Switzerland and the South of Italy.  He knew Kew and its surrounding area well, living as a boy with his uncle in Brentford where he first started to make drawings, renting Ferry House on the river at Syon, and from 1811 designing a house in St Margaret’s Twickenham which is now open to visitors.  The lecture will focus on those drawings and paintings which appear to reference the modern world in which Turner lived, culminating in the dynamically-titled Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway (1844) where nature and culture at their most extreme are painted on collision course.

Several members of the Audience asked questions at the end of the lecture  and one in particular about comparisons of some of Turner’s Paintings to the Impressionists prompted David to send us this summary below 

Dear Lorraine and Nigel, I asked my Sotheby’s Institute colleague whether there were any primary sources which indicated the influence of Turner on Impressionists and he found this letter (see below) by Pissarro (who of course lived on Kew Green) to his son.  So there is at least indirect evidence that when artists like Monet and Pissarro came to live in London they saw the NG Turners and admired them.  Whether their actual works were influenced is another matter not yet resolved.

You and Esther [cousin of Lucien, niece of Camille]have been to the National Gallery, you have seen the Turners, yet you don’t mention them. Can it be that the famous painting The Railway, The Burial of the Painter Wilkie, the astonishing Seascape, at the Kensington Museum, the View of Saint Mark in Venice, the little sketches retouched with watercolours of fish and fishing equipment, etc., did not impress you?”

Letter to Lucien, 20 February 1883. It’s actually the second letter after Lucien immigrates to London. And it comes over 10 years after Camille lived there, so I think it’s fair to say the works made a powerful impression on him.

Camille Pissarro, Letters to his Son Lucien, ed. John Rewald, trans. Lionel Abel (Boston: MFA, 2002), p. 22.

‘BRITAIN AS WORKSHOP OF THE WORLD’ – Wednesday 14th October 2020


‘BRITAIN AS WORKSHOP OF THE  WORLD’  ‘The Great Exhibition of 1851 & the establishment of the Victoria & Albert Museum’ – Virtual Online Zoom Talk – Wednesday 14th  2020 at 7.00pm to 8.00pm – Link to follow 

A Talk by Anna Warrillow –  Blue- Badge Guide, University Art History Lecturer & Ex- Curator at the V&A. 

Earlier this year if you  saw the fascinating BBC Two six- part Documentary ‘Secrets of The Museum’ you will not want to miss coming along to hear  Anna Warrillow – an ex-curator at the V&A ( not involved in the documentary)  talk about how in 1851, in London’s Hyde Park, the world’s first international exhibition was held, to display the ‘works of industry of all nations.’


Report on ‘BRITAIN AS WORKSHOP OF THE WORLD’

Report on The Friends of St Anne’s Virtual Zoom Webinar Talk 

‘The Great Exhibition of 1851 & the Establishment of the V&A Museum’

Wednesday 14th October 2020

by Anna Warrillow 

We were delighted to welcome Anna Warrillow  – Anna  is a very renowned Blue- Badge Guide, University Art History Lecturer & Ex- Curator at the V&A & well known to members of the Arts Society Richmond – as she is a regular Art Society Lecturer. Anna was originally booked to give her talk live in May 2020 but due to lockdown we had to postpone it.  We were so delighted to reschedule her Talk for October.

Having  watched  the fascinating BBC Two six- part Documentary ‘Secrets of The Museum’  last Spring  –  we enjoyed hearing Anna  talk about how in 1851, in London’s Hyde Park, the world’s first international exhibition was held, to display the ‘works of industry of all nations.’  This was the high watermark of British economic power and might, as Britain in the mid-nineteenth century was the largest global manufacture, quite literally became the ‘workshop of the world.’

Anna  explained  how  the Great Exhibition transformed people’s views on design, manufacturing and technology and how the profits of the Exhibition went on to create one of the most famous cultural quarters in London, including the foundation of the South Kensington Museum, today called the Victoria & Albert Museum,

Anna delivered a captivating, inspiring and interesting lecture – very beautifully illustrated giving us such a ‘tour’ and insight into the building and contents of the V&A. We could not wait to get back to visit. 

Anna is an excellent and accomplished speaker in virtual lectures that we are now becoming so familiar with now in 2020. We received positive feedback from many members of the audience. 

Anna is the founder of Canvas & Stone ToursShe is open to all but she particularly specialises in couples, families, and multi-generational groups.  

www.ecwns.org.uk