British Galleries Open with Welsh Italianate Art; MUSEUMS: Victoria and Albert Project Largest since World War II

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 21, 2001 | Go to article overview

British Galleries Open with Welsh Italianate Art; MUSEUMS: Victoria and Albert Project Largest since World War II


Byline: KAREN PRICE Arts and Media Correspondent

THE largest project to be undertaken for more than half a century at the Victoria and Albert Museum will be launched tomorrow with the opening of its new British Galleries.

And a selection of work by Welsh artists and important objects from Wales will go on show as part of the permanent exhibition which tells the story of British design.

The new British Galleries, located on two floors of the London museum, present the most comprehensive guide to British culture, style and taste from the reign of Henry VIII to Queen Victoria.

The 3,000 historical treasures include furniture, textiles, dress, ceramics, glass, jewellery, paintings and sculpture.

An oil on canvas by Richard Wilson, who was born in Pengoes in 1713, is among the exhibits.

Landscape Evening was painted by Wilson between 1751 and 1757.

Wilson, who studied in Italy, started his career as a portraitist but found a ready market for his idealised Italianate landscapes, which evoked not only memories of the glorious and fertile countryside but the sweet melancholy of the classical ruins, half buried in the earth.

Thomas Jones, who was born in Trevonen, Powys in 1742, was also inspired by Italian culture.

His small painting with the very elaborate title, An Excavation of an Antique Building in a Cava in the Villa Negroni, Rome, is also a part of this major exhibition.

The painting shows archaeological remains being excavated, which were captured by artists like Jones, so that tourists to the Italian countryside could buy the works at the actual site where they were being painted. …

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