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The Crack Magazine

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Exploring Nature

‘Essence of Nature’ at the Laing traces the radically different approaches to British landscape painting, from the mid-Victorian era through to the 1920s.

This exhibition kicks off with a real bang with the Pre-Raphaelites’ ideal of ‘truth to nature’ – represented by artists such as William Holman Hunt, John Ruskin and William Dyce. The wide-ranging show then takes in Rural Naturalist painters including George Clausen and Henry La Thangue, and British Impressionists such as Wynford Dewhurst, Henry Scott Tyke, Ethel Walker and Philip Steer. One of my favourite pieces is from Newcastle born Isa Jobling. Her ‘Haymaking’ (pictured) is simply glorious. Other artists to look out for include Laura Knight, John Singer Sargent and work the Newlyn Group – with their magnificent coastal scenes.

Essence of Nature: Pre-Raphaelites to British Impressionists, until 14 October, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, laingartgallery.org.uk

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