Visual Art & Literature Intersect in Two London Exhibits
The intersection between literature and the other creative arts is the focus of two new exhibitions in London and Hampshire.
Running until September 11, 2022, Inspired: Art inspired by theatre, literature and music is a new free exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London on the site of the capital’s Roman amphitheater. Using examples from the gallery’s nineteenth-century collections, it examines how visual artists have taken inspiration from the literary arts, especially poetry, plays, novels, and music. Among items on display are:
-a moodily atmospheric portrait of actor John Philip Kemble (1757–1823) as Coriolanus in Shakespeare’s play, by Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)
-William Holman Hunt’s Study for the Eve of Saint Agnes (1847-48) inspired by John Keats’ Romantic poem
-Cedric’s Toast (1859), a watercolor by John Gilbert of a scene from the novel Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Meanwhile at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Jane Austen Undressed showcases Regency-era underwear. As well as an opportunity to explore the often unfamiliar world of chemises and stays, there are two important pieces from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. While Jennifer Ehle/Elizabeth Bennet’s slightly muddy petticoat is on show, pride of place goes to Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy’s swoonworthy white shirt worn during his famous onscreen dive into a lake.
Jane Austen Undressed runs until October 2, 2022. There is also a really good online version of the exhibition.