To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Watercolours by Early Nineteenth-Century British Artists
Paris has long been a magnet for artists, even for ones from Britain, in spite of our mutual love/hate relationship with the French. Peace was initially restored to Europe at the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, in which Britain formally recognised the French Republic. True peace was not to arrive until Wellington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Gillray satirically commemorated the 1802 Treaty with his cartoon The First Kiss this Ten Years,
Gillray The First Kiss this Ten Years (Image courtesy of wikimedia commons)
and artists began returning to France's capital city during the same year to capture their visions of Montmartre and the river Seine. The Wallace Collection is collaborating with the Institut Franšais in an exhibition called The Discovery of Paris: Watercolours by early Nineteenth-Century British Artists. We are all familiar with Turner, but other less well known painters, including Robert Batty, John Gendall and Thomas Shotter Boys all crossed the Channel with their pencils and water colours to record their views of Paris. Some of them even created engravings to be used in tourist and souvenir guides.
The Quai de la Megisserie by Thomas Shotter Boys (Image Courtesy of wallacecollection.org)
Boulevards Paris by Turner (Image courtesy of wallacecollection.org)
Many of the works of art on display have been lent by other galleries and museums: the Tate, the V&A, the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The gallery hopes that this exhibition will augment their own collection of works by French artists including Delacroix and Delaroche.
Paris View over the Rooftops Towards Montmartre by Girtin (Image courtesy of wallacecollection.org)
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks, lectures and study days and the Institut Franšais will be screening a series of films set in Paris. This collaborative event will encourage you to view Paris in a different light, and through the eyes of others, without even having to set foot on a cross Channel ferry or a Eurostar train.