Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent by

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome

On display from 17 May - 5 September 2021

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome celebrates one of Britain’s great Romantic artists. The first major exhibition dedicated to John Crome since 1968, it provides a long-overdue opportunity to rediscover this important artist, reinstating Crome’s national reputation by re-evaluating his role in the history of British landscape painting.

Norwich-based, Crome exhibited at London’s Royal Academy and the British Institution and founded the first art society in Britain outside the capital, the Norwich School of Artists, now internationally known as the Norwich School of Painting.

While Crome often looked to the 17th century Dutch Old Masters, his interpretation was modern and distinctly his own. A careful observer of the natural world, Crome rooted his work in his local surroundings. He provided a snapshot of the Norfolk landscape, focusing on quiet corners, small streams, creaking gates and ancient trees. Crome kept his compositions simple; landscapes were rarely over-populated thus giving an overriding impression of light and air. Views of Norwich regularly feature in his oeuvre, as does the Norfolk coast.

The exhibition features approximately 90 paintings, watercolours, drawings and etchings. Alongside Norwich Castle’s pre-eminent collection of works by John Crome, the exhibition will present loans from private and public collections, including Tate, the V&A and Fitzwilliam Museum.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Friends of the Norwich Museums in their centenary anniversary year. The exhibition is also supported by East Anglia Art Fund and Arts Council England.

Two further exhibitions in Norwich also mark the bicentenary of Crome’s death:

Somewhere Unexpected: Norwich Castle Open Art Show (17 May – 12 September 2021) asked contemporary artists based in East Anglia to respond to our new relationship with landscape forged over the past twelve months. From an open call, work by 38 artists was selected and can be seen in the Timothy Gurney Gallery, Norwich Castle from 17 May.

Crome’s Norwich – 1821 & 2021 at Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell (22 May – 18September 2021) takes a closer look at Crome’s Norwich, then and now. Local photographer Nick Stone has walked in the footsteps of John Crome, along riverbanks and city paths to revisit the locations which inspired him. The result is a collection of stunning images, which blend Crome’s works with contemporary photography, bringing the story of Crome’s Norwich up to date.

Image: Norwich River: Afternoon (detail), c.1812- 1819, by John Crome, oil on canvas, © Norfolk Museums Service (Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery)