Scarlet and greys to black and white: The art of war in Leeds Art Gallery, from Lady Elizabeth Butler to Nevinson

Date/Time: 20 June 2024 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Price: Free

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A red-coated cavalry regiment on grey horses charges towards the viewer…

The dramatic canvas ‘Scotland Forever’, depicting the Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo, was amongst the first exhibits of the Leeds Art Gallery. Artist Lady Elizabeth Butler (1846-1933), who painted this vivid work in 1881, was unusual in a variety of ways. With a strong Catholic faith, she never wished to glorify war but to depict the reality; and she understood the way horses galloped/cantered before it was proven.

Yet, despite her obvious talent, Butler was not accepted into the elite list of Associates of the Royal Academy.

In this Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society talk, Jane Winfrey will explain Butler’s specialism in military painting, with a focus on this work and others of military subject matter within the Leeds Art Gallery collection.

About Jane Winfrey

Since her degree in Archaeology and History at the University of Leeds, Jane Winfrey has worked in museums, galleries and auction houses. She was a freelance exhibition curator of shows including ‘Weddings’, ‘Hockney – Bradford to LA’ and ‘Cartwright Hall: a Centenary Exhibition’ at Cartwright Hall, Bradford. Since 2012, she has worked for Bonhams Auctioneers and previously headed the Nineteenth Century Paintings Department at Phillips Auctioneers in London.

Jane is currently researching a catalogue raisonné on the sculptor Alfred Drury – inspired by being supervised on her Masters dissertation by Benedict Read (1945-2016), the champion of nineteenth century sculpture.

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