A COLLECTION of paintings of romantic ruins, including six never seen before have gone on display at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.
The exhibition, comprising 51 works, showcases some of the gems of the Dudley Museum collection but was originally going to only feature pictures of picturesque ruined scenes. But, as the exhibition came together, it grew to encompass other scenic buildings and structures, including some which are no longer standing at all.
In the late 18th century the cult of the picturesque began to develop with artists looking for the everyday beauty in nature and in some cases exaggerating it for effect. Some of the pieces in the exhibition, such as Priory Hall by H.R. Dickinson or F.H. Henshaw'sView of Dudley from Wrens Nest have been beautified so much that they have changed significantly from the original scene.
The picturesque developed to take in the beauty of man-made structures, including complete buildings, bridges and statues as well as ruined castles and stately homes. Amos Green was one of the first artists to make this crossover and his watercolour sketch Castles in a Landscape features in the exhibition.
There are many pictures of Dudley Castle as well as paintings of Witley Court before it became a ruin and Russell's Hall before it was demolished. Other West Midlands scenes include Dudley Priory, Halesowen Abbey and Ludlow Castle.
There are pictures of foreign scenes too, including St Lo, Angers Castle and Limoges in France, Rudesheim and Heidelberg in Germany, Cordoba in Spain and Venice in Italy.
Dudley Museum and Art Gallery is in St James' Road, Dudley, and is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday, with admission free.
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