William Stott masterpiece comes to St Davids, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – Oriel y Parc gallery first stop on Tate tour
A painting regarded as the crowning achievement of William Stott of Oldham (1857-1900) is the centrepiece of a new exhibition at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids, Pembrokeshire coast, from 24 February to 2 September 2018.
Le Passeur (The Ferryman) 1881, which is being displayed as part of a tour of UK galleries in partnership with Tate, has been secured for the British public thanks to funding from National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund (with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation) and The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation.
The painting is considered one of the key moments in the breakthrough of British Art to naturalism. It established Stott as one of the most progressive British artists of his day.
Le Passeur will be one of three works from Tate’s collections to be shown at Oriel y Parc, with a watercolour of St David’s Head by J.M.W. Turner also on display to commemorate the Year of the Sea in Wales.
These will be exhibited alongside paintings from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, which have been chosen to explore some of the hidden meanings behind images of rural life and landscape.
These will include The Goose Girl at Gruchy by Jean-François Millet (1814-1875), one of the most notable French Realists of the 19th century.
William Stott was a leading figure in the group of British artists who came under the influence of French naturalism in the late nineteenth century. After Manchester School of Art, he trained in Paris under Bonnat and Gérôme and went on to exhibit a number of paintings at the Paris Salon, which were much admired by French critics.
There are 23 paintings in British public collections by Stott, the majority of which are in Gallery Oldham, the artist’s home town. This work joins one other in Tate’s collection by Stott, Prince or Shepherd? (Prince ou Berger?) 1880, which will also be exhibited at Oriel y Parc.
The display at Oriel y Parc is part of a tour of four UK-partner galleries, thanks to funding from National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the John Ellerman Foundation and Art Fund. The work will also be exhibited at Southampton City Art Gallery, Gallery Oldham and Aberdeen Art Gallery.
Chair of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Gwyneth Hayward said: “It is a privilege to once again be a partner in a project with Tate, following on from the great success of the John Constable: Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 1831 exhibition, which was viewed by more than 30,000 people in St Davids in 2016.
“As Oriel y Parc celebrates its tenth anniversary this year we are delighted to be hosting such a significant exhibition, which represents the only opportunity to see the painting in Wales.
“We hope local people and visitors alike will take this rare opportunity to view another masterpiece of British art in Pembrokeshire and be inspired to explore the National Park’s world-class landscape, which has inspired so many artists over the centuries.”
David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tate as part of the national partnership programme. These works will be complemented by paintings from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales exploring rural life.
“There will also be a special programme of learning activities and resources to support the display at Oriel y Parc which will encourage audiences to learn more about the work of William Stott and the story of British Impressionism.”
Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain said, “ We are thrilled that Le Passeur is starting out on its two-year journey with its first stop in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, where it will join a particularly beautiful watercolour by Turner. We are delighted that Stott’s outstanding work will be seen by the many visitors to Oriel y Parc.”
Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre is owned and run by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and is the home of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales in Pembrokeshire.
The exhibition titled William Stott, Le Passeur (The Ferryman): Reflections on a landscape will be on display at Oriel y Parc from 24 February to 2 September 2018
For more information on the exhibition and related events visit www.orielyparc.co.uk/lepasseur.