Even in the wintry depths of January, the York Fine Arts collection provides a wealth of warmth and inspiration. As we take this opportunity to lose ourselves in the gallery’s masterpieces, we find that we are swept into the adventures, intrigue and romance of another creative medium: literature. Fine art and literature share a rich history, so it comes as no surprise that the lines drawn within this shared cultural landscape can at times become blurred. Here we have allowed our imagination to wander, discovering a few of the heroes, heroines and classic tales that may be summoned from each masterful brushstroke.
Clare Haley | Wuthering Heights
|'Braving the Elements'|
|Original oil painting by Clare Haley|
Amid the luminous swirling storm of Yorkshire artist Clare Haley’s ‘Braving the Elements’, it is easy to imagine Heathcliff, the fierce anti-hero of Emily Bronte’s gothic masterpiece Wuthering Heights, searching the moors for Catherine, his lost love.
Daniel Van der Putten | Far From the Maddening Crowd
|'A Quiet Summer's Day, Litchborough'|
|Original oil painting by Daniel Van der Putten|
Daniel Van der Putten’s blissful ‘A Quiet Summer’s Day, Litchborough’ exudes provincial charm, calling to mind the pastoral narratives of Thomas Hardy. Bathsheba Everdene, the vivacious heroine of Far from the Madding Crowd, could very well have just ridden through the scene on her bay mare.
Raymond Campbell | Hamlet
|'The Futility of Pleasure'|
|Original oil painting by Raymond Campbell|
“To be or not to be…” That is the question posed whilst viewing Raymond Campbell’s exquisite still life painting ‘The Futility of Pleasure’. It takes a master to evoke a master; and with shared themes of drama, pathos, opulence and profundity, Campbell’s piece swiftly leads us to Willian Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Hamlet.
Alex Hill | Treasure Island and Moby Dick
|Original oil painting by Alex Hill|
With magnificent galleons, mysterious moonlight and a vast, iridescent sea, Alex Hill’s ‘Moonlight Escape’ is alive with seafaring adventure. Jim Hawkins, the young hero of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, could very well be embarking upon his renewed quest for fortune. Or perhaps it is Ishmael on board, setting out on his tireless hunt for the eponymous white whale, Moby Dick.
Terry Evans | The Wind in the Willows
|Original oil painting by Terry Evans|
Gleefully vibrant, Terry Evans’ ‘High Summer’ is alive with the sights and sounds of the most celebrated of seasons. In this glorious scene it becomes easy to envisage Mole, Badger and Toad of The Wind in the Willows bustling along the riverbank to Toad Hall.
To invest in a piece of art is to invest in a lifetime of stories. When an artwork has captured our imagination, the cares of everyday life fade as we are immersed not only in the artist’s world, but in a world entirely our own, filled with memory and fictional tales alike. One of the greatest joys of owning a piece of art is the promise of continually seeing that which we did not see before; the promise that with each new day, there is a new story just waiting to be discovered.