A Picture of Britain; A Picture of Britain by David Dimbleby, with contributions from David Blayney Brown, Richard Humphreys and Christine Riding; Graham Sutherland - review by William Packer

William Packer

Noticing Beauty

A Picture of Britain

(Tate Britain until 4 September) order from our bookshop

A Picture of Britain

By

(Tate Publishing 224pp £19.99) order from our bookshop

Graham Sutherland

(Dulwich Picture Gallery until 25 September; Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham, 8 October – 11 December) order from our bookshop
 

A Picture of Britain must have seemed like a good idea at the time: the pick of three hundred years’ worth of landscape painting in Britain; a tie-in with a major series of television programmes on the BBC; a celebrity presenter, the elder Dimbleby no less, to lend it all his genial authority. Could it go wrong? Yes, it could, and did.

The problem lies not with the paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, old and new, that form the actual substance of the exhibition now at Tate Britain, many of which are familiar enough and normally on show in any case (Turners, Wrights, Constables and the like), but rather with the curatorial

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