Laura Gascoigne

Lyrical and dreamlike: A World of Private Mystery – British Neo-Romantics, at the Fry Art Gallery, reviewed

This gem of a gallery has devoted half its enfilade to a pastoral mode of painting that sprang up on this island in the shadow of the second world war

‘Reaper in a Welsh Landscape’, 1945, by John Craxton. Credit: The Ingram Collection of Modern British Art

‘My daughter’s moving to Saffron Walden, away from all this,’ said the railway man at Stratford station, gesturing at the tower blocks overlooking the platform. ‘It’s like going back to the 1970s and ’80s.’

For the neo-romantics the pastoral mode was an escape from the grimness of everyday wartime reality

Further back, in the case of Saffron Walden’s Fry Art Gallery.

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