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Record Image
Bright, Henry (English, b.1810, d.1873)
Landscape With Drifting Smoke, Salisbury
225 x 295 mm
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given in the 1950s by Archdeacon F H D Smythe.
Henry Bright was one of Britain’s Norwich school of painters, which flourished from 1803. Influenced by nearby Dutch painters, the Norwich artists developed their own manner, which anticipated French Impressionism in its direct response to nature. Predominantly of modest social standing, they created a local market for their works.
In these and other ways they resembled the groups that formed in colonial New Zealand in the second half of the 19th century. Dunedin is fortunate in having been given a very large collection of British watercolours by Archdeacon F H D Smythe, which amply represents not only the Norwich school but the whole British watercolour tradition, the immediate ancestor of New Zealand’s own European tradition.
In this work from the Smythe collection Bright is concerned to render both the modest land forms around Salisbury in south-west England and the subtle intermingling of smoke and the region’s characteristically cloudy sky. This interest in atmosphere is apparent also in the work of William Mathew Hodgkins (1833–1898), the influential New Zealand painter and principal founder of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. He would have welcomed the inclusion of this work in the collection.

not on view

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