Rex Whistler: A Talent Cut Short
24 May – 29 September 2013
An exhibition celebrating the brief life of the artist Rex Whistler, one of the bright young things of the 1920s, whose talent was cut short when he was killed in action in 1944.
The painter Rex Whistler lived fast and died young. As one of the bright young things of the roaring twenties, Whistler was alluded to in novels by Evelyn Waugh, photographed by Cecil Beaton and adored by society women, whom he painted in the nude.
In particular the effervescent Lady Caroline, oldest daughter of the Marquis of Anglesey with whom the painter was in love, and portrayed as Juliet to his Romeo in a frieze at her family home Plas Newydd.
Best known for his panoramas, the most famous of which circles the Tate Britain restaurant, Whistler’s racy life was cut short in 1944 when he was hit by a mortar in Normandy.
This exhibition brings together the paintings and drawings by this prolific artist who came to define an era of hedonistic decadence in his opulent murals.
Focusing on the artist’s connections with Wiltshire, the show includes 75 works, in particular a self-portrait painted in 1933, bequeathed by the artist’s close friend, Wiltshire lady Edith Oliver.