Norwich Castle is home to the world’s largest collection of works by artists of the Norwich School, a collective of three generations that included John Crome and John Sell Cotman. Other artists featured include Sir Alfred Munnings, Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth, Edward Burne-Jones and members of the Dutch School.
Not to be missed is the soaring oil on canvas of the Tower of Babel by Tobias Verhaecht, the magnificent 17th century painting ‘The Paston Treasure’, commissioned to display a family’s extravagant collection.
The Norwich Union and Bernard Matthews exhibition galleries host a lively and varied programme of shows. Over the years they have played host to works by Hans Holbein the Younger, Titian, Constable, Picasso, Manet and Jeff Koons amongst many others.
The Colman Art Galleries house the world’s largest public collection of works by the Norwich School of Artists, the first regional society of artists established in England. Notable members include John Crome, John Sell Cotman, Joseph Stannard and George Vincent.
Most of the works in these galleries were bequeathed by Russell James Colman of Colman’s Mustard in 1946.
'The stature of the signature works, especially of the first generation Norwich School artists, is of wider than regional significance; indeed there is no comparitor among European Schools of painting of that period.' Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, Director of Art, Arts Council England (1993 – 2006).
East Anglian Painters Gallery
The artists featured in this gallery all share a love of East Anglia and called Norfolk home at some point in their lives.
These works show the effects that are possible when artists paint in the open air and include paintings and sketches by Alfred Munnings, John Arnseby Brown and Edward Seago.
Victorian Picture Gallery
The Victorian Picture Gallery houses large and atmospheric landscapes which were so popular in the period. The paintings are set out in a style fashionable during the 19th century and all have a local connection through their subject, artist or collector.
Keep an eye out for the famous Edward Burne-Jones work ‘Annunciation’ a gift from Lord Battersea, a well-known Pre-Raphaelite art collector who enjoyed many holidays in Norfolk.
English Countryhouse Gallery
Explore a variety of artworks and sculpture typical of those seen in an English country house during 1700–1830.
Portrait painters of the time were usually asked to suggest the status of their patrons, evoking an atmosphere of wealth and elegance in the artwork.
Timothy Gurney Gallery
The Timothy Gurney Gallery, named in memory of a young Norfolk artist, houses a changing display including a regular selection from the Castle’s permanent collection of contemporary and modern art.
Visit the Norfolk Museums Collections website to search our collections.