Landscape and Locality
The artistic vision of Devon shown in this selection of images epitomises a quintessential ‘Englishness'. The landscape pictures in RAMM's collection encompass wild moorland and wooded river valleys, spring orchards and ships on the shore.
The images in the collection are primarily of places removed from industry and urban growth. Whereby most of the pictures are of rural or coastal landscapes rather than their urban counterpart. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries this was to be expected; Devon was attractive to artists for its picturesque appeal at a time when landscape art was dominant. However, when twentieth-century artists chose to paint rural Devon they were working away from the preoccupations of the advanced art of their time.
After a successful exhibition on early Devon painters in 1932 more emphasis was placed on collecting works by local landscape artists. Paintings by artists born in or associated with Devon form a core of the Museum's collection of paintings. The collection contains works by important artists from the mid 18th to the early 20th century. Included are works by Francis Towne, John White Abbott, Francis Hayman, Thomas Luny, John Gendall and a significant collection of works by William Widgery and Frederick John Widgery.
As well as the local artists and scenes, the Museum also holds a collection of landscape painting, in which are works by Richard Wilson, Joseph Wright of Derby and Thomas Patch.