Norwich School

the name applied to a group of LANDSCAPE painters working in Norwich in the early 19th century associated with the Norwich Society founded by JOHN CROME in 1803 with the grandiloquent intention of ‘an Enquiry into the Rise, Progress and present state of Painting, Architecture and Sculpture, with a view to point out the Best Methods of Study to attain the Greater Perfection in these Arts’. The society, whose members included both professional and amateur painters, held annual exhibitions in the city 1805–25 and 1828–33. After Crome's death the presidency was held by JOHN SELL COTMAN until his departure for London in 1834. The Norwich School was the first self-sustaining provincial artistic community and its survival is partly explained by the relative isolation and insularity of the Norfolk gentry and merchants who provided patronage both by purchasing paintings and by employing the artists as drawing masters for their wives and daughters. A fashionable taste for antiquarian subjects also induced several members to take up printmaking.
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© Grove Art / OUP

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