Capturing Dorset

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Mill at Gillingham

John Constable first visited Dorset in 1816 as the the guest of his close friend Reverend Fisher (later Bishop of Salisbury) with whom he and his new wife spent their six week honeymoon. Rev Fisher’s vicarage was at Osmington and Constable consequently did a number of oils of the surrounding area.

In 1820  and 1823 Constable visited Dorset again as the guest of Fisher who was now vicar of Gillingham.

J. W. T. Turner

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Turner was a prolific painter and made many painting tours throughout Britain and the continent. He travelled almost every year and in 1811 toured the southwest producing a series of paintings which in turn were reproduced as a book of engravings entitled ‘Picturesque Views of the Southern Coast of England.’ While in Dorset, he painted many of the landmarks we would still recognise today including Corfe Castle, Lulworth Cove, Poole Harbour, Lyme Regis and Weymouth.  

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Augustus John plunged enthusiastically into the bohemian lifestyle when he settled in Dorset in 1911. Pitching up at Alderney Manor near Parkstone with his wife and children he proceeded to turn the manor into a crazy commune. The numerous guests were a who’s who of the art world and camped in blue and yellow gypsy caravans which dotted the sixty acre heath that surrounded the manor house.

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Sutherland spent many summers in Dorset both as a child and as a working artist. The Dorset countryside was to  kindle a lifelong interest in nature. In 1932 he illustrated the ‘Globe at Swanage’ (above) as part of an enlightened advertising campaign by Shell.

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Between 1934-1936 Paul Nash  lived near  Swanage. It was a particularly prolific period and included the production of images for the celebrated ‘Shell Guide’ series of books.