Outdoor art returns to the Peak District

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THERE is another chance for art and countryside lovers to enjoy themselves when Dovedale is transformed into an open air art gallery.

Pictures In The Landscape features 24 artists’ views of the picturesque valley – one of the Peak District’s most-visited areas.

The exhibition is organised by Derbyshire County Council in collaboration with the National Trust and is back by popular demand following a successful run last year.

The featured pictures – replicas of works held by the authority’s Buxton Museum and Art gallery – include new, never been seen before acquisitions, bought at the Chatsworth Attic sale as part of the Enlightenment project.

They will be placed in the landscape that inspired them, along with explanations and a detailed description of the work and will line the valley for ten days from tomorrow to Monday, May 2.

Last year, when the exhibition was on display, 20,000 visitors saw it.

Pictures on the trail include Thorpe Cloud, an engraving by J Mason from a painting by Thomas Smith of Derby 1776, and The Dove Holes, Dove Dale, a watercolour by Henry Moore of Derby c1810.

Four of John Bluck’s aquatints, including The Straights in Moonlight and The 12 Apostles, will also feature in the display. The originals were bought by the county council at the Chatsworth Attic Sale last summer.

Tourists and artists came to Dovedale during the 18th century, a period we now call the Enlightenment!

It is also the title of a joint Heritage Lottery-funded programme between Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Before photography, artists sketched the landscape and armchair tourists bought engravings of these awesome places. The reproductions of the images from the 18th and early 19th centuries remind visitors how special Dovedale is and show how the landscape has changed, how the plants have grown.

To complement the exhibition, Derbyshire County Council museums manager Ros Westwood will lead a guided walk along the valley, taking in the views and paintings.

Among artists and writers she will talk about are Izaak Walton, Smith of Derby and Lord Byron.

Called Fellow Travellers, the walk takes place on Saturday, April 30 at 10.30am, starting from Milldale.

It is a three-mile walk and will take about three hours. It costs £2 and is suitable for all the family. Places are limited so book in advance by calling the National Trust on 01433 670368.