James Ward: Animal Painter

17th January 2018

We are delighted to announce our new special exhibition for 2018 will be James Ward: Animal Painter Friday 4 May until Sunday 28 October 2018.

Brought together for a rare viewing, are paintings including the artist’s arresting Fight between a Lion and a Tiger (1797) on loan from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and View in Tabley Park (1813-18), on loan from Tate. Additional works on display will include a series of delicately rendered drawings demonstrating Ward’s precise draughtsmanship, on loan from the British Museum and a selection of the renowned Lithographic Drawings of Celebrated Horses.

Fight between a lion and a tiger. Ward, James (British, 1769-1859). Oil on canvas, height 101.6 cm, width 136.2 cm, 1797. Fight between a lion and a tiger. Ward, James (British, 1769-1859). Oil on canvas (c) Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

James Ward (1769-1859) produced hundreds of animal depictions in the Golden Age of animal painting, between Stubbs and Landseer. The exhibition will explore special characteristics of Ward’s works, including his focus on the emotional drama of his subject.

The chronological development of Ward’s works will be considered with an examination of the changes that occurred during this life with the progression from engraving to painting. In particular, the effect of Ward’s election to the Royal Academy of Art in 1811, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year and his appointment as painter and engraver to the Prince of Wales. The exhibition will also explore how particular animals informed his artistic approach, now recognised as Romantic.

Dr Patricia Hardy, The Packard Curator said: “This James Ward exhibition is a rare opportunity to understand the importance of sporting art in British society two hundred years ago.”

The exhibition is curated by Alison Wright, Doctoral Researcher at the University of East Anglia and Tate.