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What inspired The Beardsley Generation?

The exhibition will explore the impact that new photographic means of reproduction (process engraving) at the end of the 19th Century had on illustration. Older artists who had relied on the craft wood-engraver to work up their sketches for publication were swept aside and a new generation of artists, well versed in the requirements of process engraving, were much in demand. The new technology also resulted in an expansion in the production of illustrated books and periodicals.

After a period of dull realism, the new men looked for inspiration to the last time that there had been intensity and emotion in illustration. This led them to the work of the 1860s illustrators, especially Rossetti, Millais and Boyd Houghton. They also turned to the illustrated books printed in Venice and Florence around 1500; to the Japanese woodblock prints of artists such as Hiroshige; and to Symbolist painters such as Gustav Moreau.

Central to the exhibition will be the work of Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Ricketts, Laurence Housman and the Robinson brothers. Their work will be represented through original drawings, books and periodicals drawn from both public and private collections.

The following clip shows an interview with Geoffrey Beare introducing the exhibition:

 

14 Dec 2016 - 14 Dec 3020

Permanent Exhibition

Our permanent Heath Robinson exhibition combines original artwork with books, photographs, film and digital media to tell the full story of Heath Robinson’s artistic career.

10 Sep 2022 - 11 Dec 2022

Scene Through Wood

‘Scene through Wood’ offers a visual feast of the finest wood engravings of the past 100 years, and celebrates the extraordinary artists, past and present, who made them. Curated by engraver and artist Anne Desmet RA RE, this exhibition from the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum — home to one of the most extensive collections...
29 Dec 2022 - 19 Mar 2023

Heath Robinson’s Shakespeare Illustrations

Throughout his career Shakespeare’s plays, and especially the songs within them, provided a source of inspiration for some of Heath Robinson’s most popular and successful illustrations.

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