Rokeby: Poetry and Landscape; Walter Scott and Turner in Teesdale

Walter Scott's epic poem Rokeby is the inspiration for this fascinating exhibition of paintings by the likes of JMW Turner and Atkinson Grimshaw, who were drawn to the area by the popularity of the poem.

John Atkinson Grimshaw, On the Tees near Barnard Castle, c.1868 © Bridgeman Art Library, Leeds Museums and Galleries

John Atkinson Grimshaw, On the Tees near Barnard Castle, c.1868

Written by Scott in 1813, ‘Rokeby’ is a majestic saga set in Teesdale in the Civil War featuring ghosts, murder and star-crossed lovers. The location was inspired by Rokeby Park, where Scott’s friend and one-time owner of the Rokeby Venus JBS Morritt lived.

This exhibition brings together the poem and the paintings made in response to it, in particular Turner’s watercolours created specifically to illustrate the text. Other artists include Turner’s friend and rival Thomas Girtin and the Pre-Raphaelite painter Alfred William Hunt, who once said Germany and Switzerland put together could not surpass the views of this part of the world.

Don't miss

On the Tees near Barnard Castle by John Atkinson Grimshaw, a sweeping panorama resonating with symbolism

The Junction of the Greta and the Tees at Rokeby by JMW Turner, in which the white outline of Rokeby Hall can be just seen between the trees.

The Charcoal Burners in Rokeby Park by Alfred William Hunt, depicting labourers in the estate grounds.

Venue details

The Bowes Museum Barnard Castle County Durham DL12 8NP 01833 690606

Entry details

Free entry with National Art Pass (standard entry charge is £9.00)

Open daily, 10am – 5pm

Closed 25 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan