The Arts Society The Arts Society

A Member Society of THE ARTS SOCIETY


The Good and Simple Life: artists’ colonies in Europe and Britain

Lecturer: Sandra Pollard

Artists’ colonies are very much a feature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, helped by the spread of the railways and fired by a desire to get away from the new cities to what was perceived as the pimple purer life, which also had the advantage of being cheap.  Thus, from Staithes to Skagen, from St Ives to Worpswede, groups of men and women flocked to fishing villages and rural hamlets, in order to paint, out of doors for the first time, what was really a vanishing world.  Some groups were precursors of important modern movements, as was the Barbizon to the Impressionists; other individual artists were leaders of the avant garde, such as Gauguin at Pont Aven; other artists continued to paint in a more conventional manner which satisfied a popular demand in the art market. 

This lecture explores the many and different artistic and lifestyles and environments of these colonies in Britain and Europe