The Whitechapel Gallery Presentations of Art from the British Government’s Collection

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artwork: Edward Lear - "View of Beirut", circa 1861 - Oil on canvas - 45 x 69 cm. © Crown copyright, UK Government Art Collection. On view at the Whitechapel Gallery, London in "Travelling Light" until February 26th.


London.- The Whitechapel Gallery is pleased to present the latest in the series of exhibitions featuring works from the British Government Art Collection, with “Travelling Light”, a personal selection chosen by historian and TV presenter Simon Schama, on view through February 26th. The exhibition sees Simon Schama explore ideas of travel in the works of British artists from the 16th century to present day. Britain has always been an island nation of explorers, from aristocrats embarking on the Grand Tour to romantic exiles like Lord Byron.  In this display, Schama explores the nature of British culture that longs to go abroad, and the way artists have brought a distinctly British view to their depictions of people and places overseas. Simon Schama said: ‘Travelling Light is what British artists have sought and – sometimes – how they’ve found it. Known for our contrasting characters, we often look inwards to the insular pastoral before breaking loose offshore towards bluer horizons and palmier strands; only to then better understand what it is to be at home. Travelling Light is all about – setting off, trying to picture something, never-quite-catching it but in the process doing something beautiful.’