The grandson of the man who painted Bubbles, an artist who went blind, another who was a professional by the age of 19 and another who exhibited more than 20 paintings at the Royal Academy: these are artists in the frame.
The new temporary exhibition at Horsham District Council’s Horsham Museum & Art Gallery showcases artists who have lived or worked in Horsham district, revealing both talent and fascinating lives.
The importance of the art on display has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with talent and connection to the town and district. Henry Charles Fox, a prolific artist but today neglected, so easily captures the essence of the area with its wooded river banks, tree lined paths and later Victorian/Edwardian rural life.
Some 50 years later the talented water-colourist Edwin Harris caught the sense of the South Downs with broad sweeping washes of colour, balanced with the more confined greens of fields.
Artists in the Frame is an interesting look at the rich artistic culture of Horsham District, and runs until August 30.
One of the most popular artists of his day was Dendy Saddler. Born in Dorking, he grew up in Horsham in the 1860s before moving to London. There, Dendy’s illustrative paintings caught the public imagination and soon were transferred to very popular prints.
Another professional artist, Raoul Millais, had an eventful life. Born in Horsham to the artist and naturalist John G. Millias, he accompanied the writer Hemmingway when he toured Spain, later having commissions from patrons including Churchill.
Most of the art on display at Horsham Museum has been purchased with the help of the Friends of Horsham Museum; two however required national support to make it possible.
Both watercolours are delicate and so can only be display on occasion. One by George Robertson, shows Warnham mill bridge, c. 1765. Robertson developed the technique of scratching out over washes of colour, thus creating delicate lines. The painting was purchased by a grant from the National Art Collection Fund, while the V&A Purchase Fund enabled the Museum to acquire the impressive watercolour by John Claude Nattes who visited the town in the 1780s and captured a romantic view.
For further information please contact Jeremy Knight, Museum & Heritage Manager.