Sublime Inspiration

18 June - 14 September 1997

A major exhibition tracing significant developments in mountain painting over the past two centuries, linked with man's desire to climb to even greater heights. Starting with the early days of British mountain climbing in the mid-18th Century, the exhibition will chart the developments in painting inspiring artists in the Lake District, the Alps and the Himalayas.

Exclusive to Abbot Hall, 'Sublime Inspiration' will include works from the permanent collection, from the extensive private collection of The Alpine Club and from public and private loans. Works from the permanent collection will include 'Passage of Mount St Gothard' by Turner and many of our superb Ruskin watercolours. Loans will include one of the most important paintings of the Lake District 'Buttermere Lake with part of Crummock Water' by JMW Turner (Tate Gallery) and 'Kangchenjunga' by Edward Lear.

This spectacular show will explore how mountain painting has changed and developed following the rise in popularity of the easy to carry medium of water-colour. Artefacts, rare paintings and documents on loan from the Alpine Club will be displayed alongside the unique collection of mountaineering photographs by the Abraham brothers already housed at Abbot Hall.

The exhibition will also look at the influence that the 'new technology' of photography had on mountaineers at the turn of the century. Again the Alpine Club have some stunning examples of early mountain photography, which give us an insight into the determination and seemingly reckless nature of some of the great early climbers.

Works by John Ruskin will illustrate his involvement with the Alpine Club. He represented the growing number of members interested in the literary, artistic and philosophical thoughts inspired by the mountains they climbed, and still climb today.

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