The work of British mural painters, and continental artists working in Britain, employed to decorate the palaces and country houses of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, remains poorly documented and misunderstood. For many years, the grand baroque schemes of artists such as Verrio, Laguerre, Chéron, Lanscroon, Thornhill and Kent were neglected and covered up, replaced by more fashionable interior decoration, or destroyed completely. Those that survive are often incomplete, or divorced from their original physical and iconographic contexts. Until relatively recently, scholarship tended to avoid them entirely, dismissing murals as artistically inferior to other forms of painting, while summarily describing their subject matter inaccurately, with little thought given to their intended meaning and reception at the time of their creation.
WHO WE ARE
We are curators, academics and museum professionals who exchange ideas and research about the history, meaning and interpretation of British mural art.
Our steering group:
Curator (Collections), Historic Royal Palaces
Dr Lydia Hamlett
Academic Director in History of Art, Institute of Continuing Education,
University of Cambridge
Dr Richard Johns
Lecturer in the History of Art
& Director of the British Art Research School, University of York
OUR FUTURE PLANS
We hope to use this website as a research hub for all those with a research interest in British murals, especially in the period
We aim to hold two or three events a year at locations around the UK where we can meet to discuss murals in situ or alongside relevant museum collections.
We are particularly interested in developing a comprehensive contextual appreciation of British murals within a wider understanding of late 17th and early 18th-century
The British Murals Network
is a sub-group of the British Art Network,
a Subject Specialist Network led and supported by Tate and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, with public funding provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
The network brings together professionals working on British art including curators, researchers and academics,
reflecting the combined strength of
the UK’s public collections and curatorial expertise in this field.