The Elgar Route by Antony Bridge

Antony riding his Brompton on the Hills

Malvern- based landscape painter Antony Bridge brings his collection of paintings depicting views from the Elgar route around Worcestershire to The Firs, Elgar’s Birthplace this summer.

Antony’s two passions of cycling and painting come to a crescendo in this new project. He plans to cycle on his Pashley or Brompton bike around the newly re-launched Elgar route capturing the most beautiful views, especially those which inspired Elgar to create his music.  

Living on the famous Malvern Hills gives Antony easy access to his subject matter; the hills and their ever-changing colour. An en plein air painter working in all weather conditions, he uses a pochade box to create an initial sketch or oil study which he then takes back to his studio to complete. This is a very similar technique Elgar used to create his music, inspired by his time in the outdoors and then completed at his study desk in the comfort of his home overlooking views of either Worcestershire or Herefordshire.

Antony cycling around Worcestershire
Antony cycling around Worcestershire
Antony cycling around Worcestershire

The similarities of painter and composer continue with their mode of transport. Elgar’s faithful steed Mr Phoebus, a Sunbeam bicycle made in Wolverhampton, had an English-made Brooks saddle as does the contemporary model that hangs within our entrance space in the visitor centre and so does Antony’s Stratford-made Pashley bicycle.

Brooks Saddle on the Sunbeam Bicycle
Brooks Saddle on the Sunbeam Bicycle
Brooks Saddle on the Sunbeam Bicycle

Antony is artist in residence at our sister property Croome, where he has annual exhibitions. Currently on display in Croome Court’s Drawing Room is Bridge and Wilson: Landscapes. Antony was commissioned to paint the ‘Capability’ Brown landscape as was Richard Wilson in 1758. Both are displayed in striking contrast of equal grandeur. 

Antony with his painting of Croome
Antony with his painting of Croome
Antony with his painting of Croome
" Antony’s use of colour is energetic and jumps out from the canvas. He attributes this to working outdoors in natural light and often inspired by his cycling pace.The Elgar route paintings give you a sense of movement, either of gently pedalling along or whizzing down a steep hill."
- Kirsty Bothma
Admiring Antony's paintings
Visitor looking at Elgar Route paintings
Admiring Antony's paintings

The Elgar Route 

The Elgar Route has been relaunched this year and is a self-guided 40 mile sign-posted driving or cycling route around Worcestershire visiting famous landmarks associated with Elgar. Download PDF copy of the route here. (PDF / 1.6591796875MB) download

The exhibition at The Firs consists of a number of different sized paintings around the central rotunda within the visitor centre and will be added to as the project takes place. As well as viewing these innovative and colourful pieces you are able to purchase them with prices starting from £295.