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George Cumberland, fossil collecting and landscape painting in early 19th century Bristol

Thu 22 March

Cambridge University Library

The watercolours of George Cumberland (1754-1848), a life-long friend of William Blake and early member of the so-called Bristol School, merge a passion for fossils and geology with radical landscape. This talk will relate Cumberland’s work to the vibrant intellectual and cultural climate of early nineteenth century Bristol. It will seek to trace the reciprocal influence science and art had on each other in the activities of the newly founded Bristol Institution and through the artistic practice of professional and amateur landscape painters in the city between 1820 and 1840. Significantly, George Cumberland published both art-theoretical and palaeontological tracts as well as collecting both art and geological specimens. The drawings and watercolours in the collection of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery suggest he was using images of landscape, in this case the striking scenery around Bristol, to align scientific observation with ideas about Creation.

Speaker: Dr Jenny Gaschke, Curator of Fine Art pre-1900, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

Enquiries: Francesca Harper Website Email: fh322@cam.ac.uk Telephone: 01223 333920


All times

Thu 22 March 5:30PM - 6:30PM


Address: Cambridge University Library
Milstein Seminar Rooms
West Road
Email: library@lib.cam.ac.uk
Telephone: 01223 333000