This display highlights a selection of paintings by artists associated with the London-based Bloomsbury Group and Camden Town painters, and the Scottish Colourists. It reveals the diversity of approaches developed and how these artists formed close networks of like-minded individuals in the pursuit of innovation.
In 1910, the daring exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists was staged at the Grafton Galleries in London. It represented a watershed moment in British art. Grouping together paintings by Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, among others, it showed British audiences the evolution of French modern art since the emergence of Impressionism in the 1860s.
By contrast, contemporary art in Edwardian Britain was more conservative. Paintings of visually appealing subjects depicted in muted tones with fluid, sweeping brushstrokes, dominated the British art market. This elegant and refined style is characterised by the work of John Singer Sargent.
Inspired by post-impressionist art, encountered both at home and abroad, a generation of British artists began to experiment with bright colours, animated brushwork, strong patterns and outlines.