Painting in Broken Tones: Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown (1866-1955)

Spotlight Exhibition
23 April 2016 to 31 March 2018
Long Gallery

Arnesby-Brown. NCM_1902-38

Full Summer, Ludham, Norfolk, 1902. Arnesby-Brown. NCM_1902-38

It is 150 years since the birth of Nottingham-born landscape and cattle painter Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown and our small display from the Castle’s collection celebrates the work of one of Britain’s top landscape painters.

Although the style of his paintings has often been associated with the Impressionists, Arnesby Brown was actually influenced by the Barbizon School of painters in France, who shared the aim of developing a more naturalistic style of landscape painting. Some of the most prominent features of this school are its tonal qualities, loose brushwork and softness of form.

Arnesby Brown first studied at the Nottingham School of Art in the late 1880s and then entered the studio of Andrew MacCallum, where he first started to paint outdoors, a practice he continued throughout his painting career.

He became the first Associate of the Royal Academy from Nottingham since Paul and Thomas Sandby (in 1768), and became a Full Academician in 1915. Arnesby Brown was knighted in 1938 and died in 1955, not having painted since 1942 due to blindness. He is buried in the cemetery of the Parish Church of St Mary in Haddiscoe, Norfolk, where he had lived for many years.