The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to
the British neo-Romantic tradition,
from 1880 to the present day.
While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of
publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions
remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden
tradition to light.
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WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?
Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration
from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.
Characteristic themes in their work include a
mystical approach to the British landscape...
ENTRY: Sutherland, Graham.
Graham Vivian Sutherland (b. August 24, 1903 – d. February 17, 1980) was an English artist.
He was born in Streatham, London, educated at Epsom College, Surrey and Goldsmiths' College,
University of London and worked as an engineer at the Midland Railway Works at Derby
before studying engraving at Goldsmiths College from 1921 to 1926. In 1927 he married Kathleen Barry.
His early prints of pastoral subjects show the influence of Samuel Palmer. He did not
begin to paint in earnest until he was in his mid-30s, following the collapse of the
print market in 1930 due to the Great Depression. These pieces are mainly landscapes,
which show an affinity with the work of Paul Nash. Sutherland focused on the inherent
strangeness of natural forms, and abstracting them, sometimes giving his work a
surrealist appearance; in 1936 he exhibited in the International Surrealist
Exhibition in London. He also took up glass design, fabric design and poster design
during the 1930s, and taught at a number of London art colleges. In 1934 he
first visited Pembrokeshire, and the place remained an inspiration for his
neo-romantic work until late 1936.
From 1940 he was employed as an official artist in the Second World War, as part of
the War Artists' Scheme. He worked on the Home Front, depicting mining, industry, and bomb damage.
Having converted to Catholicism in 1926, from around 1950 until his death he was deeply
involved in religion. Following the war he produced several religious pieces, including
The Crucifixion (1946) for St. Matthew's Church, Northampton and the tapestry Christ
in Glory (1962) for Coventry Cathedral. He also continued to produce work based on
natural forms, and managed to blend some of these - such as thorns - into his
religious work. Sometimes, as in Head III (1953), these forms, often considered
threatening in appearance, have an organic appearance but are entirely invented.
From 1947 into the 1960s his work was inspired by the south of France, and
he purchased a villa there at Menton in 1955.
There were major retrospective shows at the Tate Gallery in 1982, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2005.
Roger Berthoud. Graham Sutherland: A Biography (1982)
John Hayes. The Art of Graham Sutherland (1980)