Starting from Egyptian blue in ancient times, pigments preferred by painters for sky blue have changed repeatedly. Here’s a brief history.
Symbols of the night, and through association with Athena/Minerva, for wisdom and learning. Owls in paintings to William Blake.
Landscapes which are quietly unusual, and one of the Symbolist masterworks of the 19th century, after which he turned Impressionist.
From mythology, Mercury’s caduceus and the Aesculapian Staff, walking sticks as a device indicating age, and those carried by travellers.
Churchyards and graveyards in the art of William Hogarth, Caspar David Friedrich, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Louis Welden Hawkins, and others.
Its peak with Bonington, Friedrich, Corot and others. Decline in Impressionism to deliberate omission in ‘primitives’ such as Cézanne and Astrup.
The first brush with autumn occurs when the hill and mountain tops change to white, as if dusted by icing sugar – the first thrill for children and skiers.
The wanderer with his back to the viewer takes on new life with Thomas Fearnley. Is he the artist’s alter ego?
Wanderers, wayfarers and pilgrims have walked across continents in search of wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, or a bite to eat and sheltered sleep.
From the early landscapes of Rubens and Dutch masters to the surrealist skyscapes of Paul Nash, introducing a history of painting the sky.