Petworth's Royal Academicians: 10 champions of British art
The Royal Academy was founded in 1768, the nation's first real art school and principal exhibition space. Celebrating the 250th anniversary, Petworth is shining a light on ten works by founders and members of this prestigious institution, gathered by the 3rd Earl of Egremont in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Please be aware that from 2 to 25 January selected state rooms are closed to allow for important conservation. Additional rooms are open for the Prized Possessions exhibition on 26 January
During this time The North Gallery and Chapel remain open as well as the Estate Offices and Historic Kitchen in the Servants' Quarters.
To see the full extent of the state rooms please return from 26 March.
In this sense Petworth became an unofficial academy of art during his reign and it was this ethos that garnered Petworth the title as 'that House of Art' by John Constable in 1834.
The majority of living painters and sculptors who visited Petworth or were represented in the collection, were also members of Britain's primary art establishment of their day: the Royal Academy.
The North Gallery
Visit the North Gallery like never before and see 10 works by founders and members of the Royal Academy from the Petworth collection. Each will be highlighted with information on the painting and the artist behind it.
It's also an opportunity to fully explore the space and discover the Molyneux Globe, quite possibly the earliest English terrestrial globe in existence, as well as antique sculpture that was central to the 3rd Earl's plan for comparing and contrasting living artists against historic works.
Though the room might seem overcrowded by our standards, believe it or not, this design and the merging of sculpture and painting, chosen by the third Earl, was revolutionary at the time. As you wander the North Gallery today, you are seeing it just as visitors like Turner did over 200 years ago.
As part of the exhibit you'll find J. M. W. Turner's Ships bearing up for Anchorage, 1802. By the age of 15 Turner became a regular exhibitor at the annual RA exhibitions and became a fully elected member in 1802 at the age of 27 and eventually becoming the Professor of Perspective. Turner was regularly invited to Petworth and used the room above the Chapel as his own studio.