Visual Arts — Paintings

Visual Arts — Paintings

January 25, 2019 Off By exploreberwick

The Arts In Berwick — Visual Arts — Painting

Born in Paisley, Vallance (1827-1904) did not take up art professionally until 1857. In the 1860s he did pictures of shipping, but also visited Ireland and Poland. He was a good friend of the painter William McTaggart but never quite achieved the latter’s freedom of expression

His picture of the Royal Border Bridge, now in the Borough Museum, is one of a number he did of Berwick in late 1880s.

The Arts In Berwick — Visual Arts — Painting
Turner in Berwick

It took a maverick artist, J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), to show what was really possible with watercolour. He visited the north in 1797 on a commission from Lord Lascelles at Harewood House, filling notebooks full of sketches, some of which are deeply antiquarian in their detail. The sketches he worked up into finished watercolours.

One of the most successful views was of Norham Castle. But Turner aimed at something beyond Prout. His 1798 Norham picture was originally exhibited with lines celebrating the dawn by Borders poet James Thomson (1700-48), the mysteries of light came to obsess Turner in later years.

In his 1845 picture, the castle is barely visible amid a powerful suffusion of sunlight.

The Turner-Thomson vision of an enchanted castle at Norham, profoundly influenced later artists. Turner’s view of Holy Island worked up from the sketchbooks in 1829, showed another aspect of his genius, a dramatic composition with the island folk beset by a wild and squally sea.

This was development of the picturesque which critics termed the ‘sublime’. It was a key part of the theory of Romanticism, with the artist as Byronic hero responding to the drama of the scene.