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Creating the Countryside

Thomas Gainsborough to Today

Sat 18 March 2017Sun 18 June 2017, 11.00am – 5.00pm

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Compton Verney’s 2017 season will open with a major exhibition that examines our relationship with the countryside. Bringing together Old Masters and contemporary artists whose work spans more than 350 years, Creating the Countryside provokes reflection on the artistic, social and political forces that have played an important role in forming successive generations’ perceptions of this ‘green and pleasant land’.
The rural idyll occupies a deeply rooted place in the nation’s psyche – Compton Verney’s ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds are themselves an expression of this. Creating the Countryside explores how artists have shaped the vision of rural life and landscape, offering a new perspective on the countryside and its expression in contemporary art and society.
Works by artists including Thomas Gainsborough, Claude Lorrain, George Stubbs and Stanley Spencer are joined by pieces from contemporary artists such as Mat Collishaw, Anna Fox, Sigrid Holmwood and Grayson Perry to present viewers with a broad spectrum of responses to, and interpretations of, this sceptred isle.


The development of this exhibition was supported in part by a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Research Grant from the Art Fund.


Image: Paul Reas, Constable Country, Flatford Mill, Suffolk, 1993, lightjet print, © The Artist, courtesy of The Hyman Collection, London




Peter Kennard , Haywain with Cruise Missiles, 1980 © Tate, © Peter Kennard



(2 adults and up to 4 children)

over 60s or unwaged)

(5-15 years old)

Under 5s

Exhibition Day Ticket (from 18 March)

Day admission to the Exhibitions, Collections and Park.







* Memberships and Annual Ticket valid for 12 months during our open season.

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Compton Verney