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Capture the Castle

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This is the first ever large-scale art exhibition on the subject of British castles. Everyone loves a castle: the first sight of a great mediaeval castle such as Conwy, Harlech or Dover can be a spine-tingling moment, they have an exceptional visual wow factor.

Steeped in history and legend, these extraordinary buildings exude a powerful and brooding presence. They conjure knights in shining armour, derring-do, evil deeds and deep dungeons, high adventure and royal intrigue. Turner and Constable, Girtin, Cotman, Ibbetson, Sandby, Varley and many others travelled to castles throughout Britain in the search of the Picturesque. Castles, often sited in spectacular locations, were the perfect subject for the Romantic movement of the early 19th century that embraced the heroic past. The Gothic Revival was to spawn a new wave of castle building.

Showcasing the finest historic and contemporary castle artists and combining history with art, this exhibition conjures the mystique, excitement and prestige of the castle from Iron Age hill forts to Victorian reproductions and fantasy castles. It will include famous and rarely seen works from public and private collections, including loans from Tate, The British Museum, the V&A, the Government Art Collection and from the collections of major artists.

The exhibition will include a fully illustrated catalogue, which has been generously sponsored by the Punter Southall Group.

Image detail credit: J.M.W. Turner, Norham Castle, on the River Tweed, 1822-3, Tate Collection, accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 © Tate, London, 2017

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