Painting Light and Hope showcases the work of the Manchester-born artist, who was born in 1844. Swynnerton studied in Manchester and Rome and became the first elected female member to the Royal Academy of the Arts. She was a painter known for figure and portrait paintings and painted pictures of Henry James amongst others. Her work was influenced by George Frederic Watts and Edward Burne-Jones.
The show based at Manchester Art Gallery will feature 36 paintings which evidence Swynnerton's impressive career. 13 paintings are from Manchester Art Gallery's own collection with others borrowed from public galleries and private collections. Fans of the artist will love the chance to see some of her rarely showcased work and see how her career and artistic influences evolved over time. The show is a combination of portraits, landscapes and allegorical works. Included in the show is a portrait of Susan Dacre who co-founded the Manchester Society of Women Painters with Swynnerton and also a portrait of William Gaskell. Swynnerton's work is greatly influenced by her time living in Italy, which is believed to have influenced her use of light and colour. Her subject matters were influenced by her beliefs, including her political ones. As a supporter of Women's Suffrage, her work clearly represented women at all stages of their life.
The exhibition is perfect for art lovers and those interested in history. The life of Swynnerton is as impressive as her art. She championed women's rights, helped fight for the right to vote and worked to get female artists better opportunities and access to male-only artistic institutions. Her legacy is as much in her social campaigning as it is in her artwork.
The show starts on Friday 23rd February 2018 and will continue until Sunday 6th January 2019. It is free to attend. Find Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street in the city centre. The gallery is open Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm with late night openings on Thursdays until 9pm.