Spectacular Cornish touring exhibition tracing the stories of Arthurian legend and the Pre-Raphaelite artists returns to Falmouth.
Falmouth Art Gallery will be welcoming home its popular touring exhibition this summer, telling the story for the first time of the links between Arthurian legend and the Pre-Raphaelite artists – and offering an exclusive opportunity to see the entire Lady of Shalott series of paintings by John William Waterhouse together for the first time in the UK.
The Legend of King Arthur: A Pre-Raphaelite Love Story traces the legend of King Arthur across the county, drawing together over 60 iconic works of art from public and private lenders around the UK and beyond.
Having travelled extensively for the first two legs of the tour, the final stage of the exhibition brings it to Cornwall – long-known for its connections to the legend of King Arthur, from 17 June – 30 September.
Falmouth Art Gallery has secured the entire Lady of Shalott series of paintings by English painter John William Waterhouse as a major part of the exhibition. Painted over a twenty-year period, these have never been exhibited together in the UK, providing an exclusive and unique opportunity to see them all together in Cornwall.
Oil studies, drawings and sketchbooks from the series and Waterhouse’s personal copy of ‘Tennyson’s Poems’ with drawings and annotations will also be displayed.
The exhibition is part of a year-long touring exhibition at three renowned British public museums – the William Morris Gallery in London, Tullie House in Carlisle and Falmouth Art Gallery in Cornwall were selected for their connection to the stories of King Arthur, with each stage of the tour tweaked to tell the stories of their particular region.
Falmouth Art Gallery will be exhibiting work by Pre-Raphaelite artists such as William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, Emma Sandys Edward Burne-Jones, John William Waterhouse, and Elizabeth Siddal, amongst many others.
The 12-month touring exhibition brings together large oil paintings, sketches and oil studies, illustrated books, sketchbooks and etchings at all three galleries, with exhibits differing slightly between the venues – all exploring the King Arthur legend through the lens of Pre-Raphaelite artists and their followers, who were challenging the conventional paintings they had typically seen at the Royal Academy in the mid-1800s.